Otago Daily Times
Thieves target beautification project trees
RETIRED Dunedin couple Lynette and John Bates are shocked that thieves have twice tried to shatter their dream of beautifying a picnic area at Shag Point.
In 2018, Mrs Bates told the Otago Daily Times it was ‘‘souldestroying’’ that thieves had stolen trees which they had bought and planted at the picnic spot over the previous five years.
‘‘I feel really upset,’’ Mrs Bates said yesterday, to have discovered a second round of thefts, a week ago.
‘‘We put a lot of time and effort into it [the beautification project],’’ she said.
Fairfield resident Rebecca Hill is is offering a reward for information about the latest thefts.
Ms Hill, who sometimes camps near the picnic area, has highlighted the theft on Dunedin Grapevine, a Facebook page she founded and administers.
‘‘It’s a really low thing to do [to steal someone’s property].’’
‘‘These people are spending their own money to beautify an area for everybody to enjoy.’’
Mrs Bates said her grandmother had had a house close to where HampdenPalmerston Rd (State Highway 1) passed the northern end of Shag Point.
After the site became overgrown,, she and her husband had spent many hours clearing the area and planted a row of nonnative shelter belt trees and many native plants.
When she called at the spot she discovered 17 trees, up to 180cm tall, and the stakes protecting them, had been stolen.
It seemed ‘‘very strange’’ that a thief had struck again nearby, and the best plants had been removed.