Vandals rip out plants at play area

By Staff Reporter

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About 50 plants and trees have been destroyed at the Raetihi Recreational Playground.

Specimen shade trees and other smaller plants had been pulled out and thrown around the reserve and Ruapehu District Council property team leader Rebecca Van Orden said it was extremely disappointing to find someone had undertaken this mindless destruction of a community asset.

"In addition to the direct cost to Ruapehu ratepayers the biggest losers out of this are the Raetihi community," she said.

"This especially hurts families and young children who have been the primary users of the recreational playground."

She said it was not this first time similar vandalism had occurred.

"About a year ago specially planted shade trees were the target of vandals who pulled them out."

Mrs Van Orden said the trees and plants would not be replaced at this time because of cost.

"We want to see if the surviving plants are targeted before making a decision about spending ratepayer money on new ones," she said.

"The damage at the playground comes on top of other vandalism around Raetihi over the last few weeks including smashed windows at the community pool and council office which also had plants pulled out and various other acts of destruction around town."

Anyone who can help identify those responsible for the vandalism should contact the Raetihi police on 385 4002.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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