A positive start to a community event has been marred by thieves.
Sixteen handmade flags were stolen from the entrance to the Harbourview Sculpture trail on Tuesday evening.
The three metre fluorescent flags were ripped off the bamboo poles they were attached to sometime after 6pm.
Project co-ordinator Holly Vaihu says the trail has 24 hour security however guards did not see any suspicious behaviour.
"Aside from the fact they were handmade for free from local resident Louise Davis-Barr, it's a real bummer they've gone because it's a difficult location for the public to find.
"We've got a big weekend coming up and we don't want people to lose us among everything that's going on."
She says the flags took a week and a half to make and are made from materials including nylon and canvas.
"They are relatively recognisable and we encourage whoever took them to return them to the local Z petrol station, no questions asked."
This isn't the first time thieves and vandals have hit the sculpture trail since it opened on March 8.
About two weeks ago, several flags were stolen which organisers "took on the chin", Mrs Vaihu says.
A display of 83,000 plastic spoons alongside Te Atatu Rd representing child poverty was also vandalised when a vehicle was driven over the spoons.
A group of community members planned to get together on Wednesday night to re-make some of the stolen flags.
Phone Holly Vaihu on 021 510 800 with information.
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