Police have arrested a 34-year-old Kerikeri man for the theft of a donation box for sick children.

Sergeant Phil Le Comte, of Kerikeri police, said the man was arrested at his home on Tuesday night. He was co-operative but the donation box, and the estimated $50 it contained, was not recovered.

The man is due in the Kaikohe District Court today.

Read more: Thief walks off with donation box for sick kids


The Kidney Kids donation box was stolen from Kerikeri Sushi Gallery about 8.10am on October 4.

Shop owner Brian Gu said people had stolen drinks before but this was the first time anyone had taken the charity box. The donation had "come from people's hearts" so it was the last thing anyone should steal, he said.

The theft was captured on the shop's security cameras. Members of the public contacted police and the Advocate with four possible names for the offender.

Mr Le Comte thanked everyone who had offered information after the release of the CCTV footage.

Kidney Kids NZ chief executive Keith Mackenzie said the theft was "very disappointing", and the money would have been put to much better use if spent on sick children as the donors intended.

"Now one can only hope that the justice system does its job, and he is made to make a contribution to the charity he ripped off."

Kidney Kids supports about 500 children with chronic kidney disease and their families.