Security around Tauranga's community Christmas tree on the waterfront is being tightened after a vandalism attack.
The eight-metre-tall Christmas tree has traditionally been placed in Mid City Mall in the lead-up to the festive season but it was moved to the newly opened waterfront area to allow people to get closer to it.
Last weekend some branches were ripped off. The vandalism left gaping holes in the tree, which has been re-adjusted to soften the holes created.
Downtown Tauranga manager Kirby Weis said he was saddened on Monday morning when he saw the damage done. "I am very, very disappointed that someone would even think about it. Something like that, to a community tree, and Christmas tree of all things?" Mr Weis said.
"I hope that when we capture that person it was a momentary lapse of reason."
He said local businesses had helped re-adjust the tree, which would remain at the waterfront for Carols by Candlelight on December 16 and Christmas Day.
It was hoped the tree could be fixed by then. "So many people enjoy that tree. It's closer and people can get closer. I've seen visitors, tourists and kids have their photo taken with it."
Mr Weis said security was being tightened around the tree.
Downtown Tauranga was working with police and closed-circuit TV footage to identify who was responsible.
"We would like to ask the community if they know anything to contact us." Anyone who has information on who did the damage is asked to contact Tauranga police on 07 577 4300.