Driver caught trashing reserve

This damage at Lake Ngaroto was witnessed and reported, with the photos shared widely on social media.

A Waipa local is being forced to pay nearly $1,100 in damages after he was caught deliberately damaging a council reserve with a vehicle.

Photos taken by an appalled witness were shared on social media, leading to identification of the vehicle. When shown the evidence, the driver admitted responsibility. He will have to pay the total cost to repair the ground, regrass and fence off the area.

Waipa District Council’s community facilities manager Bruce Airey said vehicles “deliberately chewing up reserves” were a constant and ongoing issue in the district. Repairs cost ratepayers thousands of dollars each year and took resources away from other work.

“This is not about people getting acccidently stuck and causing damage by mistake. This is quite deliberate and in the past has involved people pulling out bollards or cutting locks to access sports grounds and reserves. It’s extremely disappointing and frustrating that some people think this is okay.”

Airey said anyone spotting vehicles deliberately damaging reserves should take a detailed description, including the registration number and immediately contact police. This applied to motorbikes as well which have, in the past, done enormous damage to Waipa’s public parks, reserves and sports grounds, he said.

“If possible, get photographs or video. If we have the evidence, we won’t hestiate to hold drivers accountable and go after them for costs.”

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