Rotorua police have trespassed a man from the Redwoods in Rotorua following reports from local women about a man acting suspiciously in the area.

The Rotorua Daily Post highlighted the issue in Saturday's paper after women said they were feeling unsafe in the Redwoods, after multiple reports of a man scaring them.

Two women highlighted incidents, one at 4pm on Wednesday last week and the other on Saturday December 8. On both occasions a man approached the women, saying unusual things and acting inappropriately.

Both women said they reported the incidents to police.


Their concerns were posted on social media early Thursday morning, where other women commented they had similar experiences.

Their reports prompted Lakes City Athletics convener Annemarie Gallagher to say the community was feeling nervous and she hoped the reports were being taken seriously.

A Rotorua police communications spokeswoman said on Thursday afternoon police were not aware of any recent reports of suspicious behaviour on the Redwoods but urged the community to contact police if they felt unsafe.

Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi. Photo / File
Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi. Photo / File

However, following questions from the Rotorua Daily Post yesterday Rotorua police area commander Inspector Anaru Pewhairangi said, in a written statement, the police and the council were working together to ensure the Redwoods and all of Rotorua's public spaces were safe.

Barbara Ward, one of the women who felt unsafe in the Redwoods. Photo / Stephen Parker
Barbara Ward, one of the women who felt unsafe in the Redwoods. Photo / Stephen Parker

"No one should have to feel afraid while they're out enjoying outdoor activity."

He said police were contacted on Thursday afternoon about a man who was reported to be exhibiting unusual behaviour in the Redwoods in Rotorua.

"Prior to that no official reports had been received. Police and the council also became aware of social media activity about suspicious behaviour in the Redwoods.

"Two detectives in Rotorua saw this online activity and were concerned enough to visit the Redwoods in search of this man."

He said the police and the council began the process of issuing a trespass notice on Friday against a man and the notice had now been served.

"If you are heading out for a walk or run in the bush, we recommend you take a phone with you and let someone know where you're going.

"If you are ever feeling threatened, regardless of what's happened or where, call police on 111."

Council sport, recreation and environment manager Rob Pitkethley said, in a statement, the safety of people using council-owned or managed recreational areas, including the Redwoods and wider Whakarewarewa Forest area, was paramount.

"The forest in particular is hugely popular with many locals, as well as visitors, and we work with police to ensure the ongoing safety of users. We'll continue to work with police to monitor the area to ensure it remains a safe place for all to enjoy."