Young apprentice Hamish Cripps is gutted at losing nearly half his work tools to theft from a new community centre and surf club in Northland he's helping to build.
Thieves broke into a locked garage on the night of August 19 and a raft of power tools such as nail guns, drills, and saws were stolen from the Baylys Beach Community Centre that will also house a new surf club.
The theft happened on August 19 and a local resident set up a Give-a-little page which had until noon yesterday
had raised $1740 of the $14,000 needed to replace the stolen items.
Most of the items were not insured.
The Baylys Beach Community Trust received $262,000 from the Lottery Grants Board to help complete the project after funding nearly ran out last year.
A local had bequeathed a "significant donation" for the centre, and the trust has since managed the project.
The hub will be an event venue and meeting place for residents, but part of the donor's wish was to incorporate a surf club. The donor has since died.
Cripps was the most affected of all tradies on site, losing about 40 per cent of his hand tools, including a nail gun, hand drills, and saws.
"It's quite hard to do my job without tools. I am trying to build my tool collection back up and have had to buy some from my own money," he said.
Trust chairman Grant Suckling said the break-in was a "bit of a hard swallow" given the work the lead builder and apprentices were putting in towards a wonderful community asset.
"It's pretty low, below the belt thing to do. It takes guts out of you because it's a legacy when you build something like this for the community, the end product of which will be one of the most amazing community centres in Northland."
Suckling said there was continuous community input into the new centre, built by Andrewes Building, which was expected to open some time next month.
The centre, which will include an eight-bed room, a kitchen, garage and a surf club, is expected to cost between $1 million and $1.5m.
Police are investigating the break-in.
To donate, please go to givealittle.co.nz/cause/replacement-of-vital-tools-taken-in-burlary.