The man subjected to a horrifying bleach attack on a Northland roadside is appealing to anyone who can help identify his assailants to come forward.
Early on June 10 last year Mike Nager was driving to Whangarei from his home near Kerikeri when he pulled over for a car flashing its lights behind him. Thinking something was wrong with his ute, he pulled over onto a layby - and the next thing he knew his eyes were burning with bleach and his face had been slashed from cheekbone to chin with a knife.
Mr Nager's attacker then felled him with a punch to the chest, rifled through his car, and took his cellphone and wallet. The 45-year-old was left blinded and helpless, fearing he would be killed.
The only words his attacker said were: "You stay the f*** away."
Almost 10 months later no one has been arrested for the attack.
At the time, the Northland Regional Council employee had been driving to Whangarei to act as the key witness in an Environment Court hearing against two Far North men accused of illegally draining a wetland for swamp kauri.
The council wanted the pair jailed for repeatedly ignoring court orders.
Mr Nager said it was the most terrifying experience of his life.
"To be honest I thought I was going to die. With the knife and everything, I thought, 'this is it'."
Thick fog blanketed State Highway 10 that morning so it took as long as half an hour before a passerby noticed him in the layby beside Oromahoe Rd. The woman called 111 and found Mr Nager's first aid kit, doing her best to wash his eyes.
A callous way to put the heavy on a council employee doing his job. Smacks of gang tactics to put the frighteners on.
Then we have a local beak giving the two wetland wreckers a slap with wet bus ticket. And a community service holiday.
Two companies have been fined $50,000 each and their directors given non-custodial sentences for draining a protected wetland on the Aupouri Peninsula to extract swamp kauri
Bastards should have been locked up for a long time. Whilst the actual bleach thrower may not have been them, they obviously stood to gain the most from the swamp kauri money trail.
Bloody weak judiciary strikes again.