Dirty rotter: Thief rips through community garden

The curators of a Dunedin community garden are gobsmacked at the destructive actions of a "thoughtless thief" who ripped up their patch and stole a week’s worth of vegetables.

Greater Green Island community garden co-ordinator Marion Thomas said the thief could have just asked for some vegetables and they would have received a boxful.

"There are phone numbers on the page. We’re there twice a week. All they have to do is come in and say, look I'm desperate, could I have some veges for my family, and we would do them a box."

To make matters worse, the thief ripped through the garden, trying to pull the carrots out, she said.

They took the big carrots and left the others in the ground with no tops on them.

Mrs Thomas said the incident happened between noon on Sunday and 11am on Tuesday.

Greater Green Island community garden curator Jules Haldane holding leftover carrots after a...
Greater Green Island community garden curator Jules Haldane holding leftover carrots after a thief raided the garden at the start of this week. PHOTO: STEPHEN JAQUIERY
All the big pumpkins, beets, sweetcorn, parsnips, lettuce and other vegetables were stolen.

A decent-sized family could have lived off what was taken for a week, she said.

When she saw the state the garden was left in, she felt angry and annoyed.

"It’s just like you don’t have to do this, you don’t have to come in and mess the garden and take stuff.

"It’s just that mentality of entitlement — ‘It’s there, I want it, I’m taking it, I don’t care’.

"I just don’t get that, but I guess I’m older generation, I don’t know."

Mrs Thomas said there was a lack of respect shown to the gardeners and the community space.

The garden’s harvest was normally divided between the gardeners who helped sow it at the end of a season.

It had a simple philosophy of "do some mahi and get some kai", she said.

"Anyone who had come to the garden would respect it," she said.

Mrs Thomas hoped at the very least the stolen vegetables would go to good use and whoever stole them cooked good meals using them.

The garden was still welcoming to all and would be open on Tuesdays and Saturday for anyone wanting to learn about gardening and have a cup of tea.