TODAY |

'Nobody helped us' - sisters afraid to go outside after alleged assault at Auckland mall

Two Colombian sisters want justice and have been left scared of going outside after they say they were attacked for no reason by two people in an Auckland mall.

One of the women came to New Zealand two and a half years ago, and was last week hosting her sister who was visiting from Colombia.

The women, who do not want to be named because they are afraid of reprisal, said they were assaulted by two people - a man and a woman - at the Dress Smart mall in Onehunga at about 4.30pm on Friday.

Writing online about the incident, the resident woman said in Spanish, "you leave your country hoping to prosper, find a quieter place to live, where you can feel safe ... that was New Zealand for me, a country that could give me opportunities and security.

"Unfortunately, yesterday everything changed..."

The women claim they were pushed and subjected to racist language. They said there were further attacked after trying to film the incident.

"The most shocking thing for me was that despite asking for help and seeing more than 20 people around, nobody helped us, no security appeared," the woman wrote.

The two woman say the confrontation continued outside the shopping centre, where they were assaulted again before two members of the public stepped in.

The visiting woman was left with two fractures to her face and needs to undergo specialist treatment, while the other was left with several bruises, swelling and scratches.

Most of all, they said their image of New Zealand as a safe place has been shattered.

"I wanted to bring my sister to spend a vacation with me and show her, because I was in love with this place, but unfortunately this was what happened to us. What happened to her and the bad image of racism and brutality stays with her."

Dress Smart Centre Manager Gaylene Powell said in a statement the altercation involved four people in a common area within the centre, and that security staff were "immediately initiated to deal with the matter and the people involved left the centre shortly after".

Police have confirmed they were called to the scene on Friday afternoon, and say they have arrested a 23-year-old man over the incident.

The man has been charged with two counts of male assaults female and is due to appear at Auckland District Court on February 8.

Images of the woman who was allegedly involved in the attack have been provided both to police, and to 1 NEWS.

Police would not comment on whether they are seeking anyone else, but said inquiries are still ongoing into the incident.

Injuries sustained by two women who say they were attacked by two other people at Onehunga's Dress Smart mall.
Injuries sustained by two women who say they were attacked by two other people at Onehunga's Dress Smart mall. Source: Supplied