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Raetihi Community Biggest Loser with Playground Vandalism

Raetihi Community Biggest Loser with Playground Vandalism

Council’s parks and reserves contractor Downer was shocked to find widespread vandalism of trees and shrubs at the Raetihi recreational playground when they turned up for work there this week.

The workers found specimen shade trees and around 50 other smaller plants had been pulled out and thrown around the reserve.

Ruapehu District Council Team Leader Property Rebecca Van Orden said that it was extremely disappointing to find that someone had undertaken this mindless destruction of a community asset.

“In addition to the direct cost to Ruapehu ratepayers the biggest losers out of this are the Raetihi community,” she said.

“This especially hurts families and young children who have been the primary users of the recreational playground.”

“Unfortunately this is not the first time that trees and shrubs at the playground have been targeted.”

“About a year ago specially planted shade trees were the target of vandals who pulled them out.”

“Although these were replanted with tree guards this didn’t afford them any protection as they were both pulled out along with a magnolia tree.”

Mrs Van Orden said that due to the expense the vandalised trees and plants would not be replaced at this time.

“We want to see if the surviving plants are targeted before making a decision about spending ratepayer money on new ones,” she said.

“The damage at the playground comes on top of other vandalism around Raetihi over the last few weeks including smashed windows at the community pool and council office which also had plants pulled out and various other acts of destruction around town.”
“Anyone who can help with identifying who is responsible for any of this vandalism should contact the Raetihi Police on 385 4002.”


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