A 25-year-old Northland man has been arrested and charged with cruelty to an animal after two hunting dogs died in a burning car over the weekend.

Family members brought the man to a police station last night.

After being interviewed he was charged with offences relating to the theft of a Toyota Hilux vehicle, which was later set alight while the hunting dogs were in a dog box on the rear tray.

The man also faces charges of arson and unlawful taking of a motor vehicle.

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Detective Senior Sergeant Rhys Johnston said: "The Broadwood community will no doubt be reassured by the quick result in this case.

"Police take matters such as this very seriously and understand it is very upsetting for the not only the local community but the wider community too."

The man is due to appear in Kaitaia District Court today.

The Toyota Hilux ute was stolen and set alight.
The Toyota Hilux ute was stolen and set alight.

Chad Scrivener, 22 and his brother Theo, 24, from Broadwood, 48km southeast of Kaitaia, lost about $10,000 worth of hunting gear and cash in the theft and the fire that a senior firefighter has called "absolutely despicable".

Their family were devastated by the cruelty inflicted on the two pig dogs on the back of the ute.

The brothers had set up the ute on their Awaroa Rd property for a hunting trip and the dogs were sleeping in dog boxes on the ute's tray.

Father Malcolm Scrivener said those responsible for the sickening act rammed the front gate to his sons' property using a car, burgled the house, found the ute's spare keys, and drove off, leaving their car behind.

"They crashed the ute into a paddock then came back just before daylight to take the car away which they'd left behind, but could not do so.

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"They then got petrol and set the Hilux alight knowing full well the dogs were in there. All they had to do was to open the door of the dog box and let them out."

Cabinet Minister Shane Jones wanted "the mongrels" who burned the dogs to death to be named and shamed.

"I'd like the mongrels responsible for this despicable, bestial act to be named and shamed. I want the community to know who these creeps are. If they can do this to animals, the next step could be people," Jones, the Minister for Economic Development, said.

"The Hokianga is a beautiful place with a lot of history and to have this vile thing happen locally taints all of us. It may sound extreme coming from a Minister of the Crown, but I think this community needs to have confidence that the people in power will stand up and call out grossness of this despicable act.

"If people who commit these horrible acts do not want to be part of our society and live by our laws and standards then they should remove themselves to prison and get the help they need. We do not need these people in our communities. Just imagine the terror these people can inflict on people if they are prepared to do that to animals."