Peter Kitchen has no idea what sort of person would steal a carved pole.

Whoever they are, he doubts that they will get much pleasure from the pou that's disappeared from the southern bank of the Tarawhateroa Stream in Kaitaia.

The pou was one of eight, representing the Maori gods, that were erected upstream from the Pukepoto Road bridge last year by Te Houtaewa Charitable Trust.

One was pulled out and left lying on the ground some time ago, and now one had disappeared altogether, he said last week.


"Whoever's taken it won't be able to put it where anyone can see it," Mr Kitchen said. The fact that it was tapu did not bode well for anyone, particularly the thief and his or her family and friends.

"If they bring it back we can lift the tapu, from them and the pou, and nothing more will be said. Mr Kitchen can be contacted on (027) 492-0094.

Te Houtaewa Trust chairman Robin Shepherd was equally unimpressed.

"This is just despicable," he said. "Why anyone would take it I just don't know. Hopefully it wasn't taken for firewood or anything horrendous like that."

The pou had been blessed by the late Dr Bruce Gregory, he said, which added significantly to their value and importance.