Thieves uproot trees at Nikau ReserveBy Alan Tristram
Tree plantings at Nikau Scenic Reserve near Paraparaumu have been ripped out for the second time in a year. But although they were uprooted and stacked, KCDC staff retrieved them before the thieves could drive off with them.
Council operations staff found the plants stored at the bush edge at the reserve (beside SH 1, opposite Lindale), waiting for collection.
“It was lucky they were spotted before the thieves returned to pick them up,” says Council biodiversity officer Rob Cross.
(Caption: Council Parks and Recreation Supervisor Chris Heenan replants a wharangi tree uprooted by thieves)
Mr Cross says any suspicious behaviour observed at the reserve should be reported to police, who are boosting patrols of the area.
‘Heartbreaking’ for staff and volunteer
“Police want to catch those responsible,” he says. “Council staff and community volunteers are putting lots of time and effort into restoration plantings like these. It’s heartbreaking to see their good work undone by criminals.”
“The thieves tried to remove the roots, so the plants could be transplanted,” he says. “They damaged them all in the process – it’s such a waste.”
The plants have been replanted in the hope they will recover.
In the first theft in August last year, about 40 native trees were stolen in the Nikau Reserve. The thieves were not caught.