A good samaritan's donation of trees has gladdened the collective heart of Ruapehu District Council's Raetihi staff after a nasty spate of vandalism.

A reserve and playground in the town was trashed and the council's Raetihi office was damaged recently.

Trees grown and donated by a resident will refurbish the reserve.

"This amazing gesture has really helped lift staff spirits especially at our Raetihi office which was also a target in the recent spate of vandalism with smashed windows, shrubs pulled out of planter boxes and most disgustingly someone defecating in the back entrance area," said council team leader property Rebecca Van Orden.

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"When your place of work is targeted in this way staff can feel quite threatened and unsafe.

"The donation of the trees has really helped remind the staff that the vast majority of the local community appreciate and respect the work they do on their behalf."

The pittosporum trees will be planted in early autumn to give them the best chance of success "when we are past the worst of the long, hot, dry days", she said.