Destruction at Stanley Landing
Vandals have gone to extreme lengths to once again target one of Matamata’s most important landmarks.
Police and community leaders want help to find the culprits responsible for the latest vandalism attack at Stanley Landing Reserve.
It appears a fence post was snapped off at the base after a car drove over it and then a newly installed chain fence, to restrict entry the reserve, was cut and removed.
It comes following a similar attack, reported by the Chronicle in July, when volunteer Jim Paton raised the alarm about ongoing vandalism at the historic site.
Stanley Landing Reserve, off Tower Road, marks the spot where Joseph Firth opened his Grainstore in 1880. Vehicles had been spotted at the reserve, ripping up the land earlier this year.
Matamata-Piako District Council had just started work to protect the site prior to the latest attack.
It included levelling the carpark, re-stoning the entranceway and building permanent stock fence.
‘‘I’m really delighted to see the action taken by council, then you have to put up with this. This is terrible, it’s so senseless,’’ says Paton.
Matamata police constable Aimee Searle says police are worried about anti-social behaviour around Stanley Landing where vehicles are causing damage. The theft of the chain gate, recently installed by the council, has escalated the problem.
‘‘Police and the community patrollers are planning to increase patrols around the area to curb this behaviour,’’ Searle says.
Matamata-Piako Mayor Jan Barnes is encouraging people to speak up if they hear or see anything that might help identify those responsible.
‘‘The on-going vandalism of this area is extremely disappointing, the work on the area is not only effort of council, but also individual volunteers. I encourage people to speak up if they see or hear anything suspicious.’’
A car was used to ram the gateway to Stanley Landing.