Members of a long-standing Napier-based church and community band are desperate to recover their prized trombone which was stolen in a burglary in Bay View on Friday.
The trombone belongs to Te Reo O Hamuera, otherwise known as Hamuera Morehu Ratana Silver Band, and was one of just two items taken in the burglary. Also taken was a 50-inch TV.
Bandmaster Steven Pene said the trombone was bought from Taumarunui High School about 20 years ago after a significant fundraising campaign.
It's been used in the band ever since, passed on from member to member in a tradition well-established since the Ratana bands were formed by TW Ratana in 1935.
There are about 20 members in Napier-Hastings, a further 20 in Wairoa and about 10 in Taupo. Members practise or play together asoften as three times a week, and play both in church and at community events.
Band member George Reti, a young Napier community leader who was recently elected to represent Napier on the Board of Kahungunu Iwi Inc, said: "A lot of voluntary time and effort is put into fundraising for band uniforms, instruments, and music teaching.
"All these members do this work from their hearts. It's all voluntary. That's what hurts when this happens.
"The band only has a small opportunity to fundraise each year, and it is very hard to replace the instruments," he said. "Help us get this taonga back. It serves a good purpose. It may not mean much to the people who took it, but it means a lot to us."