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Vandals cause frustration for residents

By Chelsea Boyle

[email protected]

Senseless acts of vandalism are causing frustration among Castlepoint residents.

Last Saturday night, a community picnic table was ripped from its concrete footings, carried about 40 metres downhill and burned on the beach.

At least one fire extinguisher was also found burnt next to the table.

Castlepoint Residents and Ratepayers Association chairman Chris Garland said the incident was disappointing.

“It’s particularly annoying because the community have done a lot of work to raise funds and install that furniture for the public, so they can enjoy an experience out there.”

A lot of volunteer work had gone into landscaping that beachfront area, he said.

“It’s very demoralising for people to see that work undone so irresponsibly.”

“It’s all about people taking responsibility for themselves and respecting public property.”

The table would have cost about $500-$600, excluding labour hours which were voluntary, he said.

Castlepoint was a very popular place now, it could get a bit untidy at times, he said.

“It seems to be a part of the consequence of being a popular place.”

“We have got a security camera out there, and we do have right to go and load that footage and provide it to the police if we think we can identify culprits.

“People need to be on notice of that.”

Castlepoint resident Mary Freeman said her husband was one of the first people to spot the ruined table and the fire extinguishers.

She said that regardless of where it was, nobody liked to see vandalism.

“In a small community it’s like taking it from someone’s personal backyard, I guess, and that’s why people feel it a bit more,” she said.

“One of the most disturbing things is that they had two big fire extinguishers there, commercial ones, that they had obviously taken from somewhere . . .”

What if someone had needed one of those fire extinguishers, she asked.

Castlepoint Residents and Ratepayers Association committee member Neville Zander said the vandalism was disappointing.

He had led the group that organised landscaping around the carpark.

“A lot of volunteer hours had gone into that work,” Mr Zander said.

Grants from the Eastern and Central Community Trust and Trust House had helped make the work possible.

Mr Garland said the table would be replaced.

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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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