Dairy attack victim feels 'totally unsafe' in NZ

8:35 am on 19 May 2017

The victim of a violent aggravated robbery in south Auckland says he now feels "totally unsafe" in New Zealand.

Four men attacked the Kingsford Superette shopkeeper during a robbery on Tuesday night, pushing him to the ground, beating him and holding him in a headlock with a machete pressed to his neck.

Police today released CCTV footage of the robbery, in the hope that the four offenders would be recognised:

They have described it as a "sickening, violent attack by uneducated cowards".

Vikas Singh, the shopkeeper who was injured, told Checkpoint with John Campbell that his shift at the store - where he has worked for 10 months - was nearly over when the robbers stormed in.

"They hit me on my head. Soon after that I was knocked unconscious and fell on the floor, after that they punched me on my face and nose but I don't remember. After a few minutes, I got up and I see the guy put a knife on my neck and they just ask for the money."

While Mr Singh said the attack seemed to take minutes, the entire event was over in just 28 seconds.

His nose is likely broken, he has bruises on his face and body, and a cut on his neck from a machete.

"I never imagined that could happen with us, now I think it's totally unsafe for us.

"I have no option I have to go there. I need a job, you know, I have no other option."

Mr Singh came to New Zealand with his brother - who also works behind a counter at a Z petrol station - three years ago to study, get good jobs and make their family proud.

But he said he had been left shaken by the robbery.

"I think this is a totally unsafe now in New Zealand, day by day unsafe. Before coming I heard that New Zealand is a very peaceful country, but now the picture's different, you know."

In a news conference held today, Detective Inspector Fa'amanuia Va'aelua said the violence towards dairy owners was sickening and unconscionable.

"These people have used excessive violence on innocent people who were totally willing to comply with their demands. These offenders should be ashamed because they have no pride or honour. These thugs are dangerous, violent and they need to be held to account."

Mr Va'aelua said people should step in if they suspected family members were involved.

Mr Va'aelua said the offenders took off with cigarettes and it was believed they left through a nearby park and onto Haddon Street.

Yesterday a collective of Auckland dairy and liquor store owners said they were considering going on hunger strike to force the government to take action on the issue.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs