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Plea for more park security

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

The victim of a weekend burglary at Queen Elizabeth park is calling for a higher level of security there to “catch vandals and thugs”.

When Peter Douglas was told the boat shed at Queen Elizabeth Park had been broken into, for the fourth time in two years, he immediately feared the worse.

“My first thought was that the life jackets and boats had been smashed or stolen, but they hadn’t,” he said.

Instead, the burglars had stolen ice cream, lollies, drinks and police dress up hats.

Mr Douglas is the owner of Queen Elizabeth Park Boats, that was targeted overnight on Saturday.

“A friend of mine rang up and said, you’ve been broken into again,” he said.

What was left of the front door. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
What was left of the front door. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

“They’ve used a sledgehammer to smash in through the front door.”

“We found all the wooden pieces of it in the lake.”

He said other items that were stolen in the attack included two battery vacuum cleaners, which he uses to clean the paddle boats, a battery drill, and two heavy weights, normally used to counterbalance the boats.

“Business will continue as usual, but I’m concerned that if they can do it once, they can do it again you know.

“There’s no cameras.

“I asked the council three years ago to put cameras up but they said it was too expensive.

“Maybe they’ll do something now.”

Mr Douglas said he suspected it was teenagers that had broken in, due to the nature of goods that were stolen.

“The last time they tried to break in was about three weeks ago.

“They tried jemmying the door but they couldn’t get it open because it’s got so many locks and bolts.

“I guess they came back with a sledgehammer to smash through.”

He said the incident made him think, “what’s the point?”

“The council really needs to get some footage and do something about this smartly.”

Masterton District Council spokesperson Sam Rossiter-Stead said the door was replaced yesterday and the incident was being “reviewed”.

“It’s incredibly disappointing that this type of thing would happen,” he said.

“Our immediate priority was to make the boat shed secure by replacing the door.”

He said staff checked over the park yesterday to see if any other damage was done.

The miniature trains were fine, he said.

However, some temporary directional signs near the park entrance were damaged.

Police are investigating.


  1. As a former Mastertonian it really saddens me to read this article.If Masterton was like it was in 1960-70 ,Cunninghams ,Freezing works ,Philip Morris and Govt print there is no way all of us ex pats would have moved to Australia.I realise things move on BUT there is NO EXCUSE for Vandalism.To the perpetraters…you have a wonderful town… play sport and get involved in the community.

Comments are closed.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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