Bashed backpackers Michaela Brandl and Niki Honda are
crediting angels with saving their lives after they were
attacked on the South Island's West Coast last Sunday.
In a joint statement to the Herald on Sunday, the friends
expressed "deepest gratitude for all the support and
compassion which reached us from the very first moments".
German tourist Brandl, 28, was stabbed in the neck three
times and her Japanese-Dutch companion Niki Honda suffered
pelvic injuries in the attack which happened after being
picked up as they were hitchhiking near Whataroa.
Their ordeal has gripped the nation this week as details
emerged of their struggle to survive and escape.
"So many people - strangers - sent us flowers, cards or
presents and we are deeply touched by every single one of
them, as well as by all the good wishes, thoughts and
prayers," they said.
"We feel like many angels were sent to us in this situation.
We still believe in the good or God in everything and still
feel that New Zealand is one of the most beautiful and
peaceful countries on this planet."
They had met many great people and their "trust in this place
and the people is unbroken".
"As soon as we recover and have had enough rest, we'd love to
travel on. Here and anywhere. It's good to be alive."
A Christchurch Hospital official said Brandl and Honda were
Detective Senior Sergeant Darryl Sweeney said the public
response had been heartening.
"Telecom has given them new phones and we had a campervan
offer. Victim Support has provided enough to replace their
A 38-year-old man from Otaki has been charged over the
attacks on the two women, as well as the murder of
Christchurch woman Amy Farrall. He has interim name
Anyone wanting to donate money to the backpackers can make a
deposit to ANZ bank account 06-0821-0714633-00.
- By Russell Blackstock of the Herald on Sunday