Vandals wreck football pitch

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Tikipunga AFC premier coach Bill Gibson said vandals who damaged his club's main field had "knackered" things for the club. Photo / John Stone
Tikipunga AFC premier coach Bill Gibson said vandals who damaged his club's main field had "knackered" things for the club. Photo / John Stone

A ute which smashed through a fence before doing donuts on the grass has put a major Whangarei football field out of action for up to a month.

Tikipunga Association Football Club secretary Christina Taylor described the offenders, who struck about 1am on Saturday, as "idiots ruining everyone's fun" who have put more pressure on volunteers.

"It's just going to really stretch us," Ms Taylor said.

The incident was one of 30 where people had torn up Whangarei's grass verges, parks or fields in vehicles over the last three months. These incidents would cost up to $30,000, Whangarei District Council parks and recreation manager Paul McDonald said.

There was CCTV footage of the ute which damaged the field, as well as of a group of people lurking around the club overnight. The matter had been handed over to police, but WDC was also looking at the possibility of separately fining people who damaged fields.

"I have talked with the Mayor and our legal people and we are going to find out what can be done to punish people who do this," Mr McDonald said. "I'm sick of it and I want us all to band together to put a stop to it."

Mr McDonald said about 20 people had reported the Tikipunga damage to WDC.

Saturday's matches were cancelled anyway due to rain, but Tikipunga 1 was used by up to five senior teams some weekends, as well as regional representative side Northland FC and children's fun football, Tikipunga AFC premier coach Bill Gibson said.

"It's really knackered that all up," he said. "It just angers you, there's no two ways about it. The whole thing impacts on the kids having fun and enjoying themselves."

- Northern Advocate

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