Police Minister Ginny Andersen says Rotorua bus stop attack on teenager 'completely unacceptable'

  • 25/08/2023

The Police Minister says the bus stop attack of a Rotorua girl on Tuesday, leaving her bloodied and bruised, is "horrendous".

A teenager has been referred to youth services for allegedly assaulting a 13-year-old while she was waiting to catch the bus home from school.

Police said the victim and her whānau were being supported.

Ginny Andersen, the Police Minister, said such violence was "completely unacceptable".

"It's the parent's worst nightmare to see something as horrendous as that happen to your child," she told AM.

Andersen said earlier legislation introduced by the Government could result in a harsher punishment for the alleged offender.

"I noted that there was videoing of that young girl - that the offender made a video recording - that now, under new legislation, we have introduced, would be an aggravating factor at sentencing if the video is done and uploaded."

But Rotorua Mayor Tania Tapsell wanted more from the Government.

"Increased police visibility, resourcing and responsiveness must be a priority for Rotorua," she said on Thursday.

"We want to reassure the community that public spaces are safe and we will introduce further safety initiatives within the inner city over the next few months."

On Friday, the victim's mother Tashita Morey told AM her daughter's injuries were healing but was "pretty shaken up and full of fear".

"[She] doesn't want to go out into public yet and doesn't want to go to school yet either."

The school Morey's daughter attends, Rotorua Intermediate, is being extremely supportive, she said.

"They have just been so amazing, they're checking in on her - just making sure that she knows school's safe."

In the meantime, Morey has launched a Givealittle page for her daughter as she recovers from the "traumatic" experience - which has so far raised more than $2300. 

The assault on Morey's daughter was the latest of multiple bus stop attacks across the country this year. 

Last month, a teenager with disabilities was beaten while waiting for her school bus, and another girl in the North Shore was traumatised after being harassed and threatened at the bus stop.