Vandals destroy park trees
Fourteen pohutukawa trees have been destroyed by "one or two idiots" at Rongomai Reserve.
The vandalism at the recently upgraded park near Botany Junction has annoyed Otara-Papatoetoe Local Board deputy chairman Stephen Grey.
"It really cheeses me off that we go through a lot of trouble to set up a nice facility and some idiot let's the community down.
"It's time to let them know. These sorts of actions don't engender you to want to spend more money."
The trees, which stood more than 3 metres tall, were planted last year as part of the landscaping for the $2.2 million multipurpose sports facility.
Auckland Council team leader for local and sports parks south Greg Lowe says the trees would have been several years old.
"It was about putting in a reasonably large grade of tree to create the ‘established' look of the landscaping," he says. "Large trees come at a big cost as you can imagine they will have been grown in the nursery for several years."
Auckland Council confirmed it would replace the trees in spring at a cost of about $4000.
But Mr Lowe says the park's users can play their part in looking after the new facility.
"It's only a handful of people responsible, while the bulk of the community are really enjoying it.
"What we hope is, with developments at Rongomai and Ngati Otara Park, to get people engaged and owning the space. It's the peer pressure that will eventually prevail."