Three giant Easter eggs designed by Kiwi artists and hidden around the country to raise money for sick kids have been vandalised.
Starship children's hospital hid 100 one-metre-sized - chocolate-free - Easter eggs around the country as part of the hospital charity's Big Egg Hunt.
The artworks can be found in public spaces throughout Christchurch, Wellington, and Auckland for the next month.
The Christchurch eggs can be found at popular destinations throughout the city.
One "mobile" egg will also travel nationally.
Starship Foundation chief executive Brad Clark said all New Zealanders could take part in The Whittaker's Big Egg Hunt.
''The creativity that has gone into these eggs is extraordinary - from realism to abstract, to dinosaurs hatching, stainless steel sculpture, a bunny bi-plane and so much more."
Dozens of volunteers helped to hide the eggs.
Each egg has a unique code on it that can be texted in to win the overall prize, a 340g 18ct gold slab.
The giant eggs will be auctioned off for the Starship, 80 on Trade Me and the rest at a gala event on April 16.
Each egg was decorated by a New Zealand artist or designer.
Dick Frizzell created an egg for the hunt but admits he wasn't sure what to do when he first got the blank metre-high egg on a metal plate.
''They sort of arrive like an alien object in the studio,'' he said.
''I didn't want to make too much of a meal of it. I didn't want to stuff it up, basically.''
Frizzell's design drew from his 30-year collection of for sale signs around the country.
''I take everything so literally. I looked at the egg and just thought 'eggs'.''
''I just went through my vast reference library and pulled out every photo I had of egg for sale signage.''
However, a representative from the Big Egg Hunt team said this evening due to "thoughtless vandalism", three of the eggs had been removed from the hunt.
Egg 39, by Jimmy James Kouratoras and Egg 10 by Christian Nicolson have been removed from Latimer Square in Christchurch. Egg 28, by Glenn Colquhoun has been removed from the Cenotaph in Wellington
Points for these eggs can still be collected by visiting the site where the egg was located and using the Whittaker's mobile app.
"We expect the eggs to be returned to the hunt soon and will advise of any update as soon as we can. We apologise for any inconvenience," the representative told fans on Facebook.
- The Press