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Queenstown Airport's $5 million runway extension safety area, or Resa, was the target of vandals over Queen's Birthday Weekend.
Constable Craig Longworth, of Queenstown, said up to $15,000 damage was done to Fulton Hogan equipment at the site.
Staff returning to work on Tuesday morning discovered the damage.
A sewage container and one of the rollers was covered in bright orange spray paint and black graffiti pen.
The vandals had smashed windows of a bulldozer, a tractor and two dump trucks.
They also emptied a fire extinguisher into the cab of a grader and put dirt in the diesel tank of another truck.
Fulton Hogan regional manager Alan Peacock said the company had not yet calculated the total cost of the damage.