A giant letterbox resembling a mighty Taniwha rugby player was taken out by thieves. But just like any good Northland player, he's bounced back.
The letterbox named "Gammie" disappeared from his normal position at the end of the drive to Bronnie and Steve Karl's home on Pukeatua Rd in Maungatapere overnight on Thursday.
The massive mail creation was dubbed Gammie after his original plastic head had a stone thrown through it, leaving him with a "gammie head".
Mr Karl, a paramedic with St John in Dargaville, made the mailbox in 2009 while living in the Bay of Islands.
Gammie is made from a recycled water pressure pump tank. Originally he was green and during his first few weeks at his Maungatapere location in 2009 he was attacked by vandals who painted him with obscenities.
But Mrs Karl was quick thinking and employed her mum and a friend with artistic skills, and together they transformed him into a giant Northland rugby player. Since then he has remained graffiti-free. "He's been fine ever since."
Well, that was until Thursday night when thieves targeted Gammie and ripped his legs from under him. Mrs Karl thought it was at least a two-man heist, and a truck or trailer would have been needed to carry him away.
"He is really heavy. This is not a random theft, it needed a bit of planning to get away with him."
The theft was reported to Dargaville police yesterday morning.
"Even if you give him a paint job, what are you going to do with him?" Mrs Karl questioned.
But her immediate blitz on social media contributed to Gammie's discovery on a side road off Pukeatua yesterday. A friend who knew a friend knew about the theft, and then Gammie was discovered discarded.
"He's been dumped down a bank. We're not sure if there's any damage but my husband will go and get him and put him back."
The couple are staunch Taniwha supporters and are hoping for a better season than last from the boys in Cambridge blue.
"We're loyal to the bitter end no matter how they do."