A Queenstown taxi driver was recovering at home last night
after he was held down on the ground by two men while another
rifled through his cab, taking a cashbox containing about
The 24-year-old Green Cabs driver sustained minor injuries in
the robbery, which occurred near the Queenstown Recreation
Ground about 3.15am yesterday.
The driver was ''OK and he's very lucky'', company director
Callum Brown, of Wellington, said. Queenstown police said the
driver picked up a male in the Queenstown central business
district and took him to the Queenstown Lakeview Holiday Park
When they arrived, the passenger said he could not pay the
fare. The taxi driver took him back to the recreation ground
after the passenger said he would meet a friend there who had
The man left the cab, saying he needed to use the public
toilets, and when the man did not return, the driver went on
foot to look for him.
The driver was then attacked and robbed by the passenger and
two other men, police said.
The cashbox and the driver's mobile phone were stolen.
Queenstown police urged anyone who saw people acting
suspiciously near the recreation ground, in Robins Rd and
Gorge Rd about 3.30am to contact them.
Detective Matt Jones said in a statement police were
particularly interested in any sightings of a white sedan
seen in the area at the time.
Mr Brown said the taxi's security camera footage was being
''All our security systems worked, which I'm very happy
about. We've got emergency buttons in all our vehicles and
the driver activated that and from there everything happened
as it should.
''Obviously, I'm very unhappy that it's happened because
we've been going since 2007 and this is the first time one of
our drivers has been attacked.
''... the last place I expected this to happen was
New Zealand Taxi Federation spokesman John Hart, of Napier,
said yesterday $700 was an unusually large amount for a taxi
driver to carry. They usually had much less, firstly as a
precaution against theft, but also because passengers often
paid by debit or credit cards.
''Anecdotally, nationally, attacks on taxi drivers have
decreased in the four years since security cameras were
introduced,'' he said.
''The federation is obviously very concerned about any
attacks on taxi drivers and it's to be hoped that the images
available to the police from the security cameras will help
to locate the offenders fairly quickly.''
- Green Cabs is not a member of the New Zealand Taxi