Police are seeking witnesses to a sexual assault on an
8-year-old girl just 50m from the main entrance of a popular
The little girl was playing at Oreti Beach, near
Invercargill, at about 4pm on Saturday when she was attacked.
The suspect had been seen by other children playing in the
area just before the girl was assaulted.
It is understood she was at the beach with her family and was
assaulted when she went into the sand dunes to go to the
In a statement last night, police confirmed the location of
the attack where they had identified a "male suspect".
But the officer in charge was not available to comment
"There were a large number of people present at the beach at
this time and police are asking for the assistance of members
of the public who were in this area to please contact them,"
the statement said.
Oreti Surf Life Saving Club secretary Sally Wilson was
shocked to hear about the attack.
"It's very popular with families, it's a very family oriented
beach. That's just disgusting, it's absolutely terrible."
Mrs Wilson said usually there were no problems at the beach.
"We just don't have any major dramas.
"You get the odd one that does the odd skid up the beach, but
we don't normally have any problems at all. It's just a nice
Invercargill and Oreti residents were outraged by the attack
and posted comments about what had happened on social media
Locals said they were shocked and appalled that the
8-year-old had been subjected to such an awful ordeal.
Oreti Beach is 10km west of Invercargill, and was a key
location in the film, The World's Fastest Indian - about the
life of Invercargill-born motorcycle pioneer Burt Munro.
Oreti became famous when Anthony Hopkins, playing the role of
Munro, raced his motorcycle along the beach.