Vandals on rampage near Lincoln
Vandals went on a rampage in a Canterbury subdivision, setting fire to machinery and smashing windows of trucks and under-construction houses.
Police believe youths are responsible, due to the footprints found at the scene.
They are seeking information from caregivers whose children may have come home with unexplained cuts on their hands or smelling like petrol.
Constable Mike Harker, of Lincoln, said workers at the Ngai Tahu subdivision Te Whariki, near Lincoln, discovered the damage when they arrived at work on Saturday morning.
The damage - to 11 pieces of heavy machinery and three houses - is expected to cost into the tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
The machinery belongs to Blakleys Construction and two contractors.
A water taker, two dump trucks, a bulldozer and two roller tractors had their windows smashed, likely with stones or bricks.
A digger had its engine damaged.
A Honda water pump and a ground compactor were set on fire, with the compactor extensively burnt.
Attempts were also made to set fire to one of the dump trucks and a Pearson tractor, by putting rags or grass in the fuel tanks.
Harker said the youths likely caused the damage in the early hours of Saturday.
Forensic evidence had been recovered from the scene.
Police were "extremely disappointed with this senseless deliberate act of property damage", he said.
"There appears to be multiple offenders and police asked that parents keep an eye out for any unexplained cuts on their children's hands or clothing smelling of petrol and diesel on Saturday morning."
Harker said it was a one-off incident. There had been no issues at the subdivision before.
Anyone with information should phone the Lincoln police on 03 378 0160 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111.