House break-in during man’s tangi

A Palmerston woman says her home was broken into and items she and her husband treasured taken during his tangi last week.

Wayne Tipa died from cancer on April 12 and last Thursday was taken to Uenuku Marae in Moeraki before being buried on April 15.

His widow, Donna Tipa, said when she returned home on the Friday she did not notice anything missing, but on Saturday when she went get firewood she noticed a discarded screwdriver on the ground and knew something was wrong.

The Tipas’ tools were usually kept under padlock, in a shed.

She found the padlock still intact, but the shed doors had been pulled open. Walking though her house she found the photos of her husband kept in the couple’s library knocked over and the window behind them showed clear marks of being tampered with.

She then started going through the house checking that items of value were still secured.

Mrs Tipa initially thought whoever broke in may have been after medication Mr Tipa was on, but she found it intact. It was then she saw some of Mr Tipa’s things had been moved and some items of personal significance stolen.

‘‘How disrespectful.’’

A 20-litre petrol container and $50 were also taken, but also, and particularly upsetting, flowers sent from the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association to accompany Mr Tipa’s body.

‘‘What do people want to do with flowers? I’m disgusted. He went to his grave with no flowers.

‘‘I don’t care about the petrol can or the $50. I just want his personal things back.’’

A police spokesman said the break-in was being treated as a burglary and an investigation was ongoing.

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