Chil­dren’s books stolen

Kapi-Mana News - - FRONT PAGE - VIR­GINIA FALLON

A brazen cup­board-nap­ping of a com­mu­nity li­brary is the lat­est chap­ter in an un­likely war on books, a res­i­dent says.

Last Wed­nes­day, the book cup­board was taken from its home out­side Mun­gavin Ave shop­ping cen­tre in Porirua and loaded into a trailer.

The cup­board, con­verted from a 1970s air­ing cup­board, was then dropped off at a sec­ond­hand store where it was priced, then put on the shop floor.

Rosie Gal­lagher, who helped cre­ate the li­brary, said she be­lieved it was a mid­dle-aged cou­ple who stole the cup­board - and it wasn’t the first time.

‘‘In Oc­to­ber they took all the books out of it and do­nated some of them to St Vin­cent de Pauls.

‘‘The po­lice know who they are so will hope­fully put a stop to this hap­pen­ing again.’’

Ea­gle-eyed res­i­dents spot­ted the cup­board in the shop and it was re­turned, but the books have not been found.

Gal­lagher said she was de­lighted to have the cup­board back, but it had been dam­aged dur­ing the theft.

‘‘We got it back, but it’s empty and un­us­able and really a bit sad.

‘‘I’m pleased that it wasn’t teenagers or chil­dren who dam­aged it, it’s peo­ple with a grudge.’’

The cup­board was the brain­child of Gal­lagher and Ch­eryl Brown, both mem­bers of the Ranui Res­i­dents’ As­so­ci­a­tion.

The in­spi­ra­tion for the project came from other com­mu­ni­ties, which had con­verted old fridges and phone boxes into book ex­changes.

Gal­lagher and Brown de­cided the Ranui one should pro­vide chil­dren’s books.

Chil­dren could bor­row or keep the books, which were do­nated to the cup­board by the com­mu­nity.

Known as Te Ka­p­ata Puka­puka, the com­mu­nity fa­cil­ity sits out­side East­side Four Square and is wheeled inside ev­ery night.

‘‘It has never been etched, tagged or stolen from at any other time than by these peo­ple.’’

Artist Ruth Robert­son-Tay­lor painted the cup­board in homage to Pa­tri­cia Grace’s chil­drens book Water­cress Tuna and the chil­dren of Cham­pion Street, writ­ten about the area.

A po­lice spokes­woman said they were look­ing to speak with

‘‘We got it back, but it's empty and un­us­able and really a bit sad.’’

some­one in­volved in the theft, but no ar­rests had been made.

De­spite the re­cent theft Gal­lagher said it would not stop her and other res­i­dents to con­tinue to beau­tify their com­mu­nity.

‘‘We’re not dis­heart­ened - we never are.

‘‘We’re never put off by some­one who says it will be dam­aged - so what if it is?

‘‘We’ll just do it again.’’

PHOTO: VIR­GINIA FALLON/FAIR­FAX NZ

Ch­eryl Brown is happy the Te Ka­p­ata Puka­puka chil­dren’s book cup­board was found, but is sad the books are all gone.

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