A tree in the memorial garden of the Waipahihi Botanical Reserve is certain to die after being badly damaged by vandals last weekend.
The tree is not old but it would definitely die and have to be removed, says Graeme Robinson of the Waipahihi Botanical Society.
It had live branches sawn off it and then the vandals used a machete or similar at the base.
Mr Robinson says the tree is one of a large collection of kauri trees growing in Taupō which are proudly tended by members and volunteers of the Waipahihi Botanical Society.
It was growing in the memorial garden area which is used frequently by young families to picnic or relax.
"While members are fully aware of the threat of kauri dieback disease to the precious collection we do not expect to suffer senseless damage such as this. This tree will likely be some family's personal memorial, now desecrated."