The feasibility of maintaining a NZCU Central ATM machine in Murupara will be decided in the next few days.

In the early hours of Monday morning a stolen front-end loader was used to smash through the front of the Pine Dr building that housed both the Westpac and NZCU banks' ATM machines.

The loader was used to put the Westpac ATM on to a trailer while the NZCU Central ATM was hit with the loader and damaged, possibly beyond repair.

Detective constable Rob Hutchins said the ATM and trailer were found abandoned shortly before 4am in the Kaingaroa Forrest.


The trailer was significantly damaged and the ATM appeared to still be secure.

Hutchings said inquiries into the burglary were ongoing and police would like to hear from anyone who had information in relation to the incident.

NZCU Central general manager Gavin Long said video footage showed the trailer almost collapsing under the weight of the machine and sparks flying from the trailer hitting the road as it drove off.

The site where an ATM machine was ripped from a Bay of Plenty store. Photo / Supplied
The site where an ATM machine was ripped from a Bay of Plenty store. Photo / Supplied

Long said discussions would be held with the Murupara community and at executive level within the bank to determine what would happen next.

"Our first priority is fixing the structural damage to the building so our staff have a place to work," Long said. "We will be taking some staff members to the Rotorua branch in the meantime but we want to get the building fixed as soon as we can."

He said builders were currently in Murupara assessing damage.

"We are working toward having partial services available to people by Friday although there will not be any cash transactions available," Long said.

"Because both ATM machines are now unavailable the people of Murupara will be the ones who suffer. I really feel for the people of the community, most who just want to be able to get on with their daily life.


"We [NZCU Central] have only recently replaced our ATM machine after someone took to it with a grinder only two months ago. We now need to decide whether it is feasible to keep a machine in Murupara – particularly if we have to keep replacing them."

Long said the alternatives included becoming a cashless bank, providing cashier transactions and loans, or closing the branch down.

"If we looked at putting an ATM machine inside the bank, we also then have to look at whether that puts our staff at risk.

"I would like to see the Murupara branch remain open otherwise there is a real risk the community will find it difficult to access cash. Some of these people don't have transport and it just makes everything a little harder for them."

Before any decision was made, Long said NZCU Central planned to hold a community meeting so people could have their say before executives of the bank met.