Child seriously assaulted at holiday park

Thursday 22 December 2011, 1:15PM
By New Zealand Police


A five-year-old girl is in a serious but stable condition in hospital after being attacked last night at a holiday park in Turangi.

The girl is currently touring New Zealand with her parents and brother in a hired ute and caravan. Yesterday afternoon they arrived in Turangi and booked into Club Habitat on Ohuanga Road, Turangi.

Last night the girl's father was in the amenity block just metres away from the caravan. At approximately 10.10pm the mother also walked across to the amenity block leaving the two children asleep inside the caravan.

When she returned at approximately 10.40pm she found the caravan door locked and through the window saw a man inside.

She ran to get her husband and when they returned the caravan door was open, the man was gone and their daughter was lying seriously injured in her bed.

She has serious injuries mainly to her head and face and has undergone surgery at Waikato Hospital.

An investigation is underway, headed by Detective Inspector Mark Loper. ESR are in Turangi carrying out a full scene examination. Officers from Waikato are currently assisting with interviews with the parents.

Detective Inspector Mark Loper said: "This is a vicious attack, and the fact that it is on a five-year-old tourist just days before Christmas makes it all the more appalling. It is vital that anyone who has the smallest piece of information that might help this investigation comes forward as soon as possible."

The family are visiting from Europe. Police will not be more specific at this stage as the family need some time to notify relatives back home before any further detail is released.

Bay of Plenty District Commander, Superintendent Glenn Dunbier has travelled to Hamilton and met with the family who have stated that they are overwhelmed by the support they have received from the Police and other emergency services.

No more information is available at this time. A media conference will be held later this afternoon in Turangi where Police hope to in a position to release further information. Time and venue is to be confirmed.

Anyone with information relevant to this investigation is asked to contact Taupo Police Station on 07 378 6060. Alternatively information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.