Beach settlement of Waimarama on alert after weekend vandalism

By Victoria White -
Waimarama residents were woken to rocks being thrown at their houses, with some causing damage, like this broken ranchslider. Photo/Supplied
Waimarama residents were woken to rocks being thrown at their houses, with some causing damage, like this broken ranchslider. Photo/Supplied

More safety measures could be put in place at a seaside Hawke's Bay settlement after weekend vandals left residents on edge.

In the early hours of Saturday, a group of people were reportedly throwing rocks at houses in Waimarama.

A wheelie bin was stolen and set on fire with a public barbecue.

The vandalism appears to have been centred at the Waimarama Domain and nearby streets.

Police were called but did not arrive in time to catch the group. Police have said they were unsure whether inquiries would continue into the vandalism.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said the community might put extra safety measures in place.

Most of the community were part of a neighbourhood watch group, he said.

He said he believed many residents would be brushing up on how to respond, should the vandalism happen again.

"We're aware of what to do to keep the community safe."

As with others spoken to by Hawke's Bay Today, the Waimarama resident was woken about 2am on Saturday to rocks being thrown at his house.

He often heard revellers on the beach, but said this group seemed different.

"If they're drunk, you hear a lot of laughter. These ones weren't laughing," he said.

"These ones were screaming, they were making a lot of noise."

He said turning on his exterior lights only seemed to incite the group.

"More stones came at us," he said.

One smashed through the ranchslider, although he didn't find it until the next morning.

"For that rock to come through the ranchslider they couldn't have thrown it from the beach, they must have come up close to the deck," the resident said.

"If someone is throwing rocks at you, you don't know they're not going to break in. We got up and got dressed in case something else happened."

He said he was annoyed he would have to pay the excess for insurance on his broken window but "everybody is safe, that's the main thing".

Another resident told Hawke's Bay Today his family was on edge after they were woken on Saturday morning to rocks being thrown at the property. A can of petrol was also stolen from his boat.

The group were also thought to have smashed a window at the Waimarama Surf Lifesaving Club, and to have set fire to a wheelie bin on a barbecue in the Waimarama Domain behind the club.

This was part of a new area at the domain, and was only several months old, another resident said.

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