Tyre van­dals strike again

Selwyn and Ashburton Outlook - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS - MATTHEW SAL­MONS

Horo­rata farmer Dou­gal King is left ask­ing why, af­ter van­dals drilled holes in the tyres of his ir­ri­ga­tor last week, the sec­ond time within a year.

‘‘We’ve had the ex­act same pivot done. They did 30 tyres last [Oc­to­ber] and they did 24 [on Mon­day, March 5].’’

King said he be­lieved the van­dals could have been an­ti­ir­ri­ga­tion ac­tivists, as he drew his ir­ri­ga­tion wa­ter sup­ply for the Cen­tral Plains Wa­ter Scheme and his farm was bis­cected by the scheme’s canal.

‘‘They pos­si­bly see our farm as a bit of a tar­get. It’s the first farm you would see from the main road by the canal,’’ King said.

A po­lice spokesper­son said en­quires were on­go­ing for both Oc­to­ber’s and last week’s in­ci­dents, and wanted to hear from any­one with in­for­ma­tion help­ful to the in­ves­ti­ga­tion

‘‘Po­lice take ru­ral crime se­ri­ously and would en­cour­age any­one who is the vic­tim of a crime to re­port it. We would also en­cour­age peo­ple to re­port sus­pi­cious ac­tiv­ity in their lo­cal com­mu­nity,’’ the spokesper­son said.

‘‘If you no­tice an un­fa­mil­iar ve­hi­cle in your area, record the de­tails, in­clud­ing reg­is­tra­tion num­bers.’’

The holes in the tyres were large, King said, ‘‘at least 15ml’’. He es­ti­mated the cost of re­pair would be around $12,000, with some of the cost cov­ered by his in­sur­ance.

Last time the van­dals struck it cost King $15,000 and two days re­pair time. He said he needed the pivot up and run­ning within a week to pro­tect it from wind and al­low him to ir­ri­gate if nec­es­sary.

Un­like last time, the pivot had been run­ning on Mon­day night. By the time King and his con­trac­tors dis­cov­ered the dam­age the pivot had run all night on its rims and had dam­aged a cou­ple of fences.

‘‘Run­ning on rims like that, it could dam­age some­thing else. I think gear­box costs are in the thou­sands.

‘‘The fences, that’s a cost, that’s an­noy­ing. But it’s no big­gie re­ally,’’ he said.

King said he re­ceived no warn­ing be­fore the van­dal­ism and had walked the length of the pivot search­ing for clues, but had found noth­ing.

Al­though he did not be­lieve it would be the last time, King said he wanted to know why his pivot had been tar­geted.

‘‘Why? Why are they tar­get­ing me?’’


Dou­gal King had 24 tyres of his ir­ri­ga­tion pivot vandalised, po­ten­tially cost­ing $12,000 to re­pair.

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