Tokerau Beach residents are claiming a victory over the vandal/s who attacked the small garden on the Simon Urlich / Inland Rd intersection.

Leena Taylor said the garden was the brainchild of Donna Koele, who created and maintained it with support from a group of residents. It was designed to depict a welcoming beach scene, with a flower-filled dinghy as the centrepiece.

"Much time, energy and money has been put into the garden by volunteers," Leena said in the local newsletter, the Karikari Pānui.

"The idiots who tried to remove the dinghy only succeeded in ripping off the front third of the boat, scattering dirt, plants and pieces of timber down Simon Urlich Rd and up Inland Rd. It is clear that they tried to tow its remains for some distance. A yellow strop used to pull the dinghy has been recovered.

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"The story was posted on our Facebook page, where more than 3510 people viewed it and more than 50 comments were made. Most were angry that this had happened. However, as a result of information being shared, the missing part (of the dinghy) was located on Tokerau Beach.

"The Kaitiaki Rangers later collected it and returned it to its rightful place."

Donna had said another boat had been offered, but it had been decided to keep the original one as it was, now in two pieces.

"It's like a shipwreck, so we will create a focus around the importance of wearing lifejackets," she said.

Leena said the Karikari Rural Fire Brigade had launched a fund as a reward for information leading to the identification and apprehension of the "criminals" who did the damage.