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Theft of Council road plantings cost ratepayers

Theft of Council road-side plantings cost ratepayers

People stealing Christchurch City Council road-side plants have cost ratepayers about $1300 after the most recent spate of thefts on New Brighton Road at the weekend.

Brendon Russ, Council Project Leader Landscape, says over 100 plants were stolen from two new beds at the corner of Palmers and New Brighton roads just hours after they were planted on Friday.

Plant theft was not uncommon because similar incidents had occurred along Fendalton Road when it was turned into a four-lane road but not to the same extent as New Brighton Road, Mr Russ says.

John Da Silva, a landscaper for the firm Morgan and Pollard, contracted to carry out the planting work, said plants were being taken only hours after they were planted and he suspected two groups were working the area. One was targeting flaxes and another, ornamental grasses.

The New Brighton thefts would cost about $1300, $900 for the loss and replacement of plants and another $400 for labour to replant the area and replace bark.

Mr Russ urged New Brighton Road residents and people living near any newly planted areas in Christchurch to keep an eye out for suspicious vehicles and people digging up plants at odd hours. Thieves at the weekend had been disturbed because contractors found plants still stacked on the roadside, ready for pick-up, he said.

“We try to provide environments for residents to enjoy and be proud of but thefts like this drive costs up. New Brighton residents should take a stand against thieves who are stripping their street of plantings they paid for through their rates,” Mr Russ says.

With summer and dryer months not too far away, Mr Russ says the Council also welcomes residents’ help in watering any roadside plants outside their homes.

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