Four teenagers charged over a vicious attack on two German tourists will remain behind bars until their next court appearance.

Three males, aged 14, 17 and 18 and a 15-year-old female, all from the Bay of Plenty, today appeared in Whakatane District Court and were remanded in custody to reappear on New Year's Eve.

All four, whose names are suppressed, have been charged with aggravated robbery following the attack in the early hours of Boxing Day.

Police were still looking for a fifth youth who was also believed to have been involved in the incident.


The couple, a 19-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman - were attacked in their tent early yesterday morning.

The man lost teeth and suffered cuts and bruises and the woman suffered facial and arm injuries, including fractures.

They remained in Whakatane Hospital overnight recovering from their injuries.

The pair were camping near a skatepark at the intersection of McAllister and Beach streets in Whakatane when they were woken.

They managed to escape their attackers and knocked at a nearby house for help. A member of the public who heard screams also contacted police.

When officers arrived they found the robbers ransacking the tent.

They fled, but a police dog tracked them to a river, where two people were arrested. Two others were arrested a short time later.

Police said the Whakatane police station had received an "overwhelming" number of calls offering donations and accommodation for the couple.

Police asked people to email messages of support to to free up the station telephone line.