Toilet vandalism worst yet

CHARLOTTE SQUIRE
Last updated 09:31 14/11/2013

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Golden Bay's information centre toilets were seriously vandalised last week, with live wires left exposed. Police say it is the worst damage they have seen to the well-used block.

Damage to dispensers, dryers and toilets took Nelmac staff half a day to clean up.

The other public toilets, across the road from the Department of Conservation offices in Commercial St, Takaka, were also damaged.

Tasman District Councillor Martine Bouillir said she felt "sad" about the event.

"It is so mindless, you have to assume it is young drunken males again, there were lots of really loud fireworks down there last night," she said.

"I'm not saying it's related but things get hyped up.

"The worst thing is if it is locals, I would encourage parents or anyone who has their suspicions to speak up.

"We don't help these young ones by protecting them from consequences."

Martine said ratepayers would be "picking up the tab" for the damage.

Nelmac time leader Jamie Westgate said he was "really disappointed" by the damage.

He said this sort of vandalism happened every few weeks and that "staff turn up with a little bit of dread in the weekends".

He said this event had been the worst so far.

He said a witness had seen a male doing the damage, and that it appeared that it appeared to have been caused with an implement.

"Down the road he smashed a toilet roll holder and a hand-dryer, leaving live wires exposed. The consequences could have been fatal," Jamie said.

He had noticed that on statutory holidays, when people could not buy alcohol, the vandalism did not occur.

Constable Bruce Telford of Takaka said it was the worst case of damage he had ever seen.

A witness said the man responsible eventually drove off towards Upper Takaka.

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- Nelson

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