Seventh act of vandalism at gardens in six weeks

A piece of a stone statue police suspect was used to damage a greenhouse at the Oamaru Public Gardens. Photo supplied.
A piece of a stone statue police suspect was used to damage a greenhouse at the Oamaru Public Gardens. Photo supplied.
The cost of repairing damage to the Oamaru Public Gardens is now running into thousands of dollars, after vandals at the weekend attacked the gardens for the seventh time in six weeks.

Three windows of a display house were smashed some time on Friday night or Saturday morning, and Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik Van der Spek said although no plants were damaged, repairs would cost the council $600.

"The gardens have been vandalised seven times in the last six weeks and in total it's going to cost us about $3000."

Mr Van der Spek said that cost was on top of the estimated $1500 to repair the Weston Domain playing field, which was damaged by vandals last month.

Community Constable Bruce Dow said in the latest incident vandals had used part of a statue to smash four windows in the gardens' greenhouse.

Const Dow appealed for help in identifying both the statue and the offenders responsible.

"The piece of statue has come from an Oamaru stone carving somewhere in Oamaru presumably, and presumably somewhere close to the gardens as it is a two-hand job to carry it.

"As a community we should not be seen to be condoning this type of damage to public property and police need the public help to track down those responsible.

"The Oamaru Botanic Gardens are Oamaru's flagship gardens and are owned by the people of Oamaru who pay their rates. To see this type of wanton damage is sad at best and downright criminal at worst. I would like help to identify the offenders for this damage to not only denounce them but to hold them to account for their actions."

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz