Vandals who stole a mobility buggy from a locked shed at Pukekura Park have caused thousands of dollars worth of damage to the machine.
The hooligans used the buggy to do doughnuts around the park before ditching it down a bank at the Bowl of Brooklands.
They also damaged part of the Golden Bearing, a golden glitter tree created by Govett-Brewster Art Gallery artist in residence Reuben Paterson.
A security camera overlooking the tree caught the joyriders in action on Saturday night , and footage has been passed on to police.
The eight-seater mobility buggy, which was used to drive people around the park and during Womad, was left unusable.
"It's very popular and enables the elderly and less-able to still enjoy Pukekura Park, but it's out of commission for the foreseeable future while the damage is assessed," Pukekura Park curator Chris Connolly said.
The vandals cut a lock to get in to the shed between the Tea House and the Brian Bellringer Pavilion and hotwired the buggy. At least two offenders were involved.
Mr Connolly said the vehicle had panel damage and a bent chassis. Its battery and electric drive motor were being checked.
"Whether it is repaired or replaced depends on what the damage is, but if we are able to repair it the bill will be in the thousands of dollars," Mr Connolly said.
There are currently four single-seat mobility scooters available for people to use in the park.
Mobility options for Womad are being discussed by the council and Taft.
Govett-Brewster staff are repairing the golden glitter tree.
- Taranaki Daily News
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