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Grace Millane (22), a British tourist, was allegedly murdered shortly after arriving in the country earlier this month for a dream trip.
Her body was discovered yesterday in the Waitakere Ranges and a 26-year-old man appeared in court this morning charged with her murder.
Sadly, it is not the first time a foreign tourist has met a violent end while travelling in New Zealand.
• Birgit Bauer (28), a German backpacker, was picked up by Michael Scott Wallace in a ute when she was hitch-hiking from Whanganui to Taranaki in 2005. Her beaten and stabbed body was found at Lucy's Gully, southwest of New Plymouth. Wallace was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
• Karen Aim (27), a Scottish tourist, was hit in the back of the head with a baseball bat as she walked home from a night out in Taupo in January 2008. Jahche Broughton, 14 at the time, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder.
• Margery Hopegood, an English tourist, was stabbed to death in a Hamilton public toilet in 1992. Wayne Glenn Tokotahi Paekau, 29 at the time of his conviction, in 1992, was jailed for life for murder.
• Jae Hyeon Kim (25), a South Korean student, was murdered when hitch-hiking on the West Coast in 2003 and buried in a shallow grave near Charleston, south of Westport.
In 2010, Nelson beneficiary Shannon Brent Flewellen, 30 at the time, was jailed for more than 16 years. Hayden McKenzie was previously sentenced to life with a non-parole term of 21 years. Flewellen's sentencing judge said both men had neo-Nazi beliefs and it was a racist killing.
• Swedish tourists Urban Hoglin (23) and Heidi Paakkonen (21) disappeared after they entered the bush near Thames in 1989. David Tamihere was convicted of their murders in 1990 and spent nearly 20 years in prison. Hoglin's body was found in 1991, after Tamihere's conviction. Paakkonen's body has not been found.
Youth Hostel Association New Zealand chief executive Mark Wells told Newstalk ZB the wide international coverage of the 22-year-old British tourist's disappearance and death would change some people's perceptions of New Zealand.
But he emphasised that New Zealand remained a "very safe place to visit".
The discovery of Millane's body in Auckland's Waitakere Ranges yesterday came only hours after three tourists were assaulted and robbed in central Nelson by up to six people.
"Obviously these are distressing events for everyone affected by them," Wells said, "and it is likely to influence some people's perception of safety in New Zealand, but generally I think New Zealand is still a very safe place to visit despite these pretty serious incidents."
Most tourists realised travelling carried some inherent risks, he said. Travelling in New Zealand was no different, although, comparatively, New Zealand was considered to be a very safe place to travel.
A large amount of data had been collected on perceptions of New Zealand as a destination, and 98 percent of the time people's expectations of the country were met or exceeded, including safety, England-Hall said.
Wells said the Youth Hostel Association advised people to stay alert to what was happening around them.
"There will be risks that emerge that they need to identify and mitigate but that's normal in everyday life in every country and in any situation."
"But we don't believe that that's a common occurrence for people who stay in our hostel network."
Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese said the weekend attack on tourists in her city was intolerable and contrary to the hospitality locals normally offered to visitors. Nelson was generally safe for visitors.
"We are very proud of our city and region and love sharing it with those who take the time to visit us. Please rest assured that a warm welcome is the norm and this terrible incident is the exception."
She urged anyone with information about the attack to contact the police.