A metre-tall ceramic statue of Buddha, which is so heavy two people are needed to lift it, has been stolen from the Summerhill farm in Papamoa.

David Blackley and his wife Cloie run the Summerhill Recreational Farm which more than 10,000 people use every year.

A Mongolian ger (tent) stands on the farm and acts as a base for the A1 Youth Academy used by school groups and Cool Bananas. Buddha sat inside - until its disappearance was noticed yesterday morning.

"We were cleaning the area for an upcoming wedding, mowing the law, that kind of thing and my wife says, 'the Buddha is gone'.

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"We are all in tears about it," said Mr Blackley.

"The thing is we all loved it. Someone has taken it for no reason at all. We are very upset."

Mr Blackley said he and his wife had travelled in Mongolia and spent time with the Mongolian nomads.

"They all had statues of Buddha in the ger and we love their attitude to life."

He bought his own Buddha statue from a charity fundraiser in Tauranga for about $1000 about a decade ago to put in the ger which stands on the farm.

"They all [the farm users] loved it. They would come in and smile at it," he said.

The skin-coloured ceramic Buddha is about 1m tall and is in a sitting position.

Mr Blackley said it would take two people to lift it.

"It's no use to anybody else. It would be obvious they had a Buddha and you'd think 'where in the hell did you get that from'."

Tauranga police Senior Sergeant Cam Anderson confirmed the theft had been reported.
There were no witnesses or suspects, he said.