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RSA Angered As Another War Memorial Senselessly Vandalized

Hatuma War Memorial damage (Photo supplied)
Hatuma War Memorial – Photo Credit

A War Memorial at Hātuma, near Waipukurau, was damaged on Friday night in a senseless act of vandalism.

Peter Jackson, the RSA’s District President for Wairarapa, Hawke’s Bay and East Coast said the local community was upset by the damage and although a plan was already being put in place, it wouldn’t be possible to repair the damage before Anzac Day.

“It’s just unbelievable that anyone could have so little respect for this memorial, for those from this community who served and gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars,” said Peter.

The bronze plaque on the front of the memorial has been struck several times and severely damaged.

“As soon as we learned of the damage we contacted Alex Walker, the Mayor of Central Hawke’s Bay. We’ve put in place a plan to repair the damage, but with Anzac Day in less than two weeks there’s not enough time to have the repairs completed before then. The damaged plaque will remain in place to ensure those from the District who served can be represented and honoured.”

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The damage at the Hātuma War Memorial follows an increase in vandalism at War Memorials across the country, with both the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch, and the National War Memorial in Wellington recently being defaced by protestors.

“The RSA supports New Zealanders’ right to protest, but memorials are not the place to do it. War memorials and cenotaphs across the country were built as a place of commemoration, to pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.

Any damage to a memorial is an incredible show of disrespect for the fallen and the community they represent. Regardless of the statement you want to make, whether it’s in protest or just an act of stupidity, we ask that you show some respect and stay away from New Zealand’s War Memorials,” said Peter.

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