Iconic track under attack
Vandalism along the length of the Te Waihou walkway has left Neil Sinclair ‘‘disgusted’’.
The South Waikato District mayor is among many people left shocked by the damage caused to the walkway along the Waihou River on November 14.
Most upsetting for Mr Sinclair were the number of trees, many planted by school children, that were set alight.
He is calling on anyone who witnessed the vandalism, or who sees such acts in the future, to contact the police.
Putaruru police have charged four people in relation to the vandalism.
The quartet appeared in court last week on charges of intentional damage and breaking into a car.
Police are still investigating and may place further charges.
SWDC parks and property manager Greg Shaw said he hoped anyone found guilty of the vandalism would be tasked with repairing some of the harm they caused.
‘‘They’ve tagged everything in sight,’’ Mr Shaw said, ‘‘lit fires along the way and broken into cars.
‘‘You wonder what the mentality of these people is.’’
Among the worst hit areas was around the second toilet on the walkway in an area known as the camp ground.
‘‘There’s been quite a bit of damage to trees. We’ve done a lot of planting there in the last eight to 10 years with school kids.’’
Photos of the damage were shown at Thursday’s meeting of SWDC’s Community and Assets Committee.
Committee chairwoman Jenny Shattock said the damage was disappointing.
‘‘Te Waihou is a feature of our district and we get some thugs coming in vandalising it, it’s such a shame.’’
The night before Te Waihou was vandalised several trees were pulled out at Jones Landing and used for a fire by freedom campers.
Mr Shaw said as a result of this latest piece of vandalism at Jones Landing the council would have to look at closing the reserve to campers.