Rail Diggers Damaged

Call for Better Police Protection

After Vandalism Near Railway

By Alan Tristram
21st December 2009

A rail works supervisor has called for better policing of the Paraparaumu Railway precinct following another attack by vandals which has caused over $3000 worth of damage to two diggers.

Vandals smashed large windows in both Hitachi diggers sometime during Saturday night.

The machines, worth over a quarter of a million dollars each, were in the rail corridor just south of the Big Save store, ready for work on the project to electrify and double track the railway line to Waikanae.

Brian McConkey, project manager for Downer EDI, is critical of police protection for the area – and the fact that the Paraparaumu Station is closed on Sundays.

He says he was forced to phone the Porirua Station on Sunday morning, but the operator had great difficulty in communicating with him.

“There is a major problem with an unmanned station at Paraparaumu,” says Mr McConkey.

And he points out the Kapiti area has nearly 50,000 people now and deserves a better police service.

His firm has arranged for a security firm to visit the area, but this isn’t solving the problem either.

He says the latest attack is ‘about the sixth in the past year’. Diesel fuel is also being taken from parked vehicles, he says.

In the weekend incident, the digger nearest Big Save had its front and rear windows smashed, as well as its side windows.

The second digger, further south, lost one of its front windows and a side window.

Mr McConkey says the vandals left empty liquor cans strewn around and large black skid marks from their car tires.

He says the damage – which he estimates at between three and four thousand dollars – won’t be covered by insurance because of an excess clause.

And he has called on the public to report anything suspicious to the police – or to call him on his mobile (0274) 421 472.