Thieves have punched right at the heart of children's fun times by stealing a circular nest swing from a popular Napier playground.
A Napier City Council Facebook post says the netted swing suspended by four chains was cut down and removed during the holiday weekend from the playground in Anderson Park, Greenmeadows.
Damage was also caused to other play equipment and graffiti, and the council's city services team was reported to be "working hard" to make repairs where possible and to remove the graffiti.
Last month thieves also removed two gates from the Hawke's Bay Model Engineering Society's train track bridge in the western side of the park.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
There has since been an attempt to remove the replacement gates that were made by the society's volunteers, who also operate the trains for child and family amusement at weekends and public holidays.
The stolen swing was in the destination playground which was part of a $2.5 million council spend on the park and opened in mid-2018. It was later that year recognised with the New Zealand Recreation Association's Outstanding Park Award.
There have been other acts of theft and vandalism, including the burning of sun shades.
Napier City council Onekawa-Tamatea ward member Richard McGrath says the playground has been so "fantastic" and popular that he hoped it could be extended.
But the thefts and vandalism made him wonder how far to go in providing the facilities, the popularity of which can be judged by the numbers of vehicles and people in the area each weekend.
The council is encouraging anyone with information on the activity over the weekend or who sees other suspicious activity in the area to report it to police.