Auckland Council is appealing for help to stop treasured public art being ruined beyond repair or stolen from parks across the city.
In recent weeks a number of significant works of public art, including a bronze figurine and base from the Valkyrie Fountain in Auckland's Domain have been stolen and the supporting marble pillar left severely damaged and a towering statue in a Mt Albert reserve damaged beyond repair.
Other works that have been stolen or damaged include Francis Upritchard's Loafers, The Five Rams in Myers Park and the Matakana War Memorial.
The council is asking Aucklanders to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to the police, following the spate of thefts and vandalism to public art pieces across the region.
Parks, arts, community and events committee chairman councillor Alf Filipaina said he was disappointed with the blatant disregard for public property.
"It is beyond frustrating that these incidents keep happening, and that those committing these acts have no pride in their city, or regard for their fellow Aucklanders.
"We are blessed to have unique art pieces across the region that we can visit freely. This is not a privilege enjoyed in other places, and it upsets me that these opportunities are not only being taken for granted by some, but that through these mindless acts, they are also being taken away from those who would appreciate them.
"It simply has to stop."
The council's public art manager Hayley Wolters said following two years of Covid disruptions budgets were already under pressure and costs to repair or replace artworks were adding further financial strain.
"We're very fortunate that here in Tāmaki Makaurau we have a wonderful public art collection that is enjoyed by Aucklanders and visitors alike.
"Unfortunately, over the past few months we've had a number of our unique pieces either stolen or vandalised, which is heartbreaking.
"We are committed to ensuring our heritage collections are kept safe, and we really appreciate the support we get from Aucklanders when it comes to doing so.
"Please, if you know anything about the theft from the fountain or any other suspicious behaviour, please contact the council customer service team or the police."
The council was currently working with police to identify those responsible.