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Vandalism in parks on the increase

15 May 2008

Vandalism in parks on the increase

Ongoing vandalism in Greater Wellington's regional park network is getting worse, with park rangers calling on the public to help curb the increase.

"Acts of vandalism occur across our parks network almost on a weekly basis," says Greater Wellington's Parks Manager Murray Waititi. "The vandalism spoils the parks for everybody, and the repairs required are time-consuming and costly."

Over the past summer, park rangers have had to deal with illegal fires, smashing of toilets and sinks, destruction of gardens, graffiti, rubbish dumping and other acts of vandalism.

Greater Wellington is already using a variety of security measures including patrols, locking the gates to the parks at night, and installing barriers. "Unfortunately these measures aren't reducing the rate of vandalism, so we're looking at installing security cameras in the parks," says Murray.

"In the meantime, we need the public to help us. Although Greater Wellington maintains a ranger service in all our regional parks, the rangers cannot be everywhere at all times. So we'd be very grateful if park users contact the police immediately on 111 if they see anyone committing acts of vandalism and our Upper Hutt office on 04 526 4133 if they see evidence of vandalism such as tagging."

Greater Wellington's park network includes Belmont Regional Park, East Harbour Regional Park, the Wainuiomata Recreation Area, Kaitoke Regional Park, Battle Hill Farm Forest Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and the Akatarawa and Pakuratahi forests.

ENDS

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