School suffers fence damage

HELEN MURDOCH
Last updated 15:31 15/11/2012
Mapua school
SIGN DOWN: Tane’s Ark children from Mapua School with the destroyed sign which once marked their work at the Mapua Wetlands.

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A post and wire fence built to keep Mapua School children safe from traffic using an adjoining shared driveway has been cut down by vandals.

Principal Neil Chalmers said the fence was built and partially funded by a neighbour to stop children cutting across the drive’s entrance where drivers could not see them. The short stretch of fence ran from Aranui Rd to the start of an existing fence defining the walkway to the school and was jointly paid for by Tasman District Council and a concerned neighbour, he said.

But some time on Monday night last week the fence’s posts were sawn off at pavement level and the remains left lying on the ground.

Neil said he worked until 11pm on Monday night and did not hear anything. But passing parents out for a run contacted him early the next morning to tell him of the fence’s demise.

He said no-one had complained about the fence and its construction was not the school’s doing. ‘‘But it was great from a health and safety point of view.’’

He said the vandalism was disappointing and not what was expected from the community. ‘‘The kids are also quite distraught to see what they recognise as vandalism.’’

It would have been nice for anyone who did have concerns about the fence to approach the school and discuss the issue rather than take such dramatic action, he said.

The fence’s destruction was the second act of vandalism suffered by the school’s children in recent days.
Neil said a sign designed by the children and built by the Conservation Department to mark an area of rough land the children had helped plant and maintain as part of the Mapua Wetland project had recently been knocked down and broken.

‘‘The kids are gutted.’’

The school was talking to the neighbour and TDC about the destroyed fence, and DOC about the vandalised sign, he said.

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