Waipuna Hospice has suffered a huge financial blow after thieves stole their van and ransacked the charity's depot in Parkvale.

Business manager James Turner found the ransacked depot yesterday morning and thought it had happened between 4pm Saturday and Monday morning.

Almost every draw had been rifled through, soft toys lay strewn across the floor, paperwork rooms were turned upside down. Even a large wooden ship model had been moved from its original position.

Among the Items stolen were a laptop and tools used to repair items that would later be put up for sale.

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The perpetrators had worn gloves.

Waipuna Hospice chief executive Richard Thurlow said he was "fuming and angry".

"The depot is critical to the success of our shop, so to not have transport, it's actually quite damaging. And it's not just a loss of a van, it's the trading. That's a major part of our fundraising for the year. It hits everything.

BURGLED: The Waipuna Hospice charity depot located in Parkvale, which held a large amount of stock, was ransacked. PHOTO/John Borren
BURGLED: The Waipuna Hospice charity depot located in Parkvale, which held a large amount of stock, was ransacked. PHOTO/John Borren

"It will knock us back a few days, it doesn't sound like a lot but it's actually considerable, it could cost us tens of thousands of dollars. We're going to lose out whatever happens, that's the sickening thing."

Manager Barry Stiles said the burglary was obviously "well planned", judging by the state the building was left in.

"They've gone through every single nook and cranny."

"It's bizarre, they just spend so much time here."

He said they had been targeted for saleable items, such as the tools and power tools.

"Now we're at a standstill," he said.

Mr Stiles said the hospice were still assessing the total value of the items stolen. The van was insured and the charity had contents insurance,

The hospice appealed on Facebook for any sightings of the van, which was believed to have been loaded up with stolen gear before being driven off.

The white 2007 Ford Transit Van has a registration of DUY554.

A police spokeswoman said the property had been locked and secured, but it was possible the offenders gained entry through a side door.

"The entire building has been completely ransacked which is not a nice thing at all. They've just rifled through everything," she said.

If you recognise the van or have some information which might help police track down the stolen gear, or people responsible, please contact Tauranga police on 07 577 4300 or provide information anonymously on 0800 CRIME STOPPERS.


The Waipuna Hospice provide symptom control and pain management for people needing palliative care.
- It is predicted 1000 patients this year will need support
- They have about 700 volunteers supporting their service
- Over $2.4 million needs to be raised in the financial year to meet the shortfall between our Government funding and our operating costs.

How to donate:
http://waipuna-hospice.co.nz/paymentextra/donate

Additional reporting by Kiri Gillespie