Wellington Scoop

Murder in Boulcott Street

We’re over-accustomed to reports of assaults in Courtenay Place and some of its murkier side streets. But not in Boulcott Street – where there’s a Baptist Church, and the new Telecom building, and the Historic Places Trust.

The journalist who was attacked on Saturday morning when he was walking down Boulcott Street after an overnight shift at Radio New Zealand would not have been thinking about any danger from strangers. He died in hospital last night. He suffered severe brain damage. From now on, shift workers in this part of town will be taking a different view.

Including shift workers on the Dominion Post, which has a front door not far from where the journalist was killed.

The paper reports that police logged seven calls about weekend fighting near Courtenay Place. It reports three weekend beatings in the city’s highly-promoted party zone, including a man who was punched repeatedly outside Reading Cinemas. But these victims survived.

Police are saying that Wellington streets are safe. Some people might disagree. Asked if he had concerns about inner-city safety, the dead man’s boss at Radio New Zealand said:

“Everyone is worried. This sort of thing does highlight those concerns, not only from a professional sense, but you worry about your friends, family, sons and daughters.”

The father of a man who was beaten in Tory Street in September says that unprovoked attacks are hurting the city’s reputation.

“There are too many thugs in town hitting people for no reason and it’s getting worse.”

Police have issued their annual warning to young women telling them to take care if they’re drunk. But what advice can they give to sober people who are threatened by unprovoked attacks?

DomPost investigation:
Underbelly of violence in Boulcott Street


  1. Varna, 18. January 2012, 3:17

    You media people talk a load of lies and you make new zealanders be judgemental. Wellington is a safe place and always will be.

  2. Guy, 20. January 2012, 13:12

    Varna, that’s an idiotic comment to make when someone has just been murdered. Clearly, for whatever reason, it wasn’t safe for Phillip Cottrell that night, and he was set upon and killed. Fact. Why on earth would you say that media people are talking a load of lies?