Dunedin police are investigating two suspicious fires, one of
which destroyed property in Waitati yesterday morning.
Fire destroyed the Waitati bus shelter and the contents of
the nearby Free Pile - a pile of donated clothing, toys and
other items people in need can take.
The Waitati Volunteer Fire Brigade was called to the blaze on
the corner of SH1 and Waitati Rd about 5am, but it was too
late to save the bus shelter. Waitati community volunteer
Tony Bishop said the Free Pile initiative was established
about five years ago, and there had been ''a spontaneous
eruption of goodwill'' in the community.
''It takes a pretty disturbed mind to do this.
''It's a very visual display of someone's hatred for the
''Everyone who knows the Free Pile, knows it's a symbol of
Despite the fire, Mr Bishop had set up an old suitcase next
to the ashes of the bus shelter and established a new Free
The fire is being treated as suspicious by Dunedin police who
are also investigating another suspicious fire in Beach St,
Port Chalmers, about 10 minutes earlier.
Rubbish was set alight in a skip next to the Port Chalmers
Fire Station. The fire was quickly extinguished.