Dunedin Chinese garden manager Margo Reid with the remains
of a penjing it had taken years to grow. The potted
landscape was destroyed by vandals who broke into the
gardens yesterday. Photo by Craig Baxter.
Staff at Dunedin's Chinese Gardens are "gutted" after two
people scaled the gardens walls yesterday, ran around inside
and then damaged the place trying to get out.
Dunedin Chinese Garden manager Margo Reid said security
systems indicated the pair, a male and a female, entered the
garden over the wall at 4.30am.
Their visit to the gardens was recorded in its entirety on
security cameras, which showed them spending some time
walking around the gardens, then trying, with great
difficulty, to get back out.
Some penjing (potted landscapes) belonging to the gardens'
gardener were destroyed, gardens trampled, and walls and roof
tiles damaged where the pair managed to get out.
Footage showed the male boosting the female on to the roof,
before then scrambling out himself.
Alarms and sensors in the garden were triggered and a
security firm was automatically notified immediately, but by
the time security personnel arrived the pair had gone, Ms
Police had taken prints from the gardens and were reviewing
security film from the garden.
Senior Sergeant Craig Brown said it appeared the pair used a
ladder from a nearby construction site to get up the outside
wall of the gardens.
Ms Reid said it seemed as though the pair had entered the
gardens as a prank, but staff there were "absolutely gutted"
about the damage they caused.
"Some of the stuff they have damaged was personally valuable
to our staff."