Vandals have ruined the prospect of merry-go-round rides for many youngsters this coming Children's Day.
For the second year in a row, the Caroline Bay Association's 130-year-old ride has been damaged, costing hundreds of dollars.
Last year perpetrators climbed under a cover and broke all of the carousel's bevelled mirrors. They struck again last week, smashing another on the centre console.
President Kevin Ancell said enough was enough, so volunteers dismantled the ride over the weekend and put it back into storage.
"Unfortunately, due to continued vandalism we will have to sacrifice the use of the merry-go-round.
"We have always left it out for Children's Day for the first weekend of March. There are going to be a lot of disappointed children this year," Mr Ancell said.
The bevelled mirrors are expensive to replace and are made to order.
"We have to get the right ones to keep it authentic but it comes at a price. Our insurance excess is $400 and that's money that could be used for entertainment," he said.
Mr Ancell is hopeful a recent initiative with the Timaru District Council to install more surveillance cameras will lead to those responsible being found. "No doubt they will be caught when the video footage is examined."
The merry-go-round is one of only two in the Southern Hemisphere, Mr Ancell said. "It was probably built in Switzerland or Germany and was originally powered by steam. The only other one is in Australia."
The replacement value of the vintage ride is well over a million dollars.
In the future the merry-go-round will be dismantled immediately after the carnival ends, hopefully preventing any more attacks, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News