Beach vandals anger city councillor

'It looks absolutely shocking', says Alan Dennis

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 16/07/2014
Alan Dennis
NICOLE JOHNSTONE/FAIRFAX NZ
‘A HELL OF A MESS’: Invercargill City Councillor Alan Dennis inspects damage done by vandals at Oreti Beach. 

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An Invercargill city councillor is fuming about vandals attacking a city reserve.

Councillor Alan Dennis said he was frustrated by vandals who have destroyed sand dunes at Oreti Beach, leaving "a hell of a mess".

The damage done at the famous beach has infuriated the councillor, who last term looked after the area as part of his portfolio for the council.

"I am more than a bit concerned about it . . . they have ripped up all the grass; it looks absolutely shocking."

The area is a council reserve and Dennis said it was supposed to be enjoyed by visitors and city residents, not destroyed by people who have no regard for the environment there.

Dennis said it was clear the vandalism was done by "people who are a bit brain dead" and looked as though they had driven tankers all over the area.

"I just believe it's environmental vandalism and it's so sad."

The damage needed to be stopped and Dennis appealed for people to come forward with information. "It's something I feel quite strongly about."

Invercargill City Council parks manager Robin Pagan said the area to the south of the entrance and 900 metres to the north was all reserve, and vandalism was a punishable offence.

Offenders could be charged with intentional damage, or dealt with under the Reserves Act, which could result in a fine or jail term.

The damage was extremely disappointing because it not only ruined the look of the area but it caused erosion and destroyed the shelter at the beach from the dunes, he said.

Dennis hoped the council could look at putting cameras out there to discourage the offenders but with the public's help and monitoring of the area, hoped the people responsible could be found.

Pagan said the council was increasingly having to consider putting up cameras at reserves to monitor vandalism but they would be hard to maintain at the beach.

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