Police on both sides of the Tasman are hunting a thief who pinched 12 medals awarded to a Kiwi Anzac who served at Gallipoli.

The medals were taken from a package that had been sent from Melbourne to Dunedin.

They were awarded to Trooper Herbert George Garratt, who served with the New Zealand Mounted Rifles Brigade. He also served in World War II as a member of the New Zealand Air Force and was a founding member of the Wellington Gallipoli Veterans' Association.

The medals were sent in a padded post bag from a Melbourne post office on February 4. The bag arrived in Dunedin on February 12 but the contents had been tampered with.

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It originally contained six medals, six miniature medals, a Gallipoli lapel badge, an RSA badge, a ribbon bar, service records and medal photographs.

When the padded bag arrived in New Zealand all the items except the service records and photos were missing.

Victorian police, who are working with officers in New Zealand to track the medals down, said the bag was resealed with tape after the medals were stolen. It was not known when they were removed.

Police are appealing for anyone with information about the theft to contact them.

Veteran's Affairs Minister Craig Foss was appalled at the theft.

"The theft of medals, earned through such great personal sacrifice, is disgraceful," he told the Herald.

"Any time such a theft occurs is absolutely wrong."

Mr Garratt, originally from Taihape, left for war in October 1914.

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