Coromandel kauri thief baffles council

  • 18/01/2016

A tree thief has stolen a kauri that was planted at a Coromandel memorial to commemorate a World War I battle in France.

The local council says it's shocked by the number of healthy native trees that have been poisoned, illegally trimmed, felled or dug up from council land across the region over the summer holidays.

It was particularly concerned about the theft of a kauri planted last year at Whangamata's WWI Memorial Site to mark the 1918 battle of Le Quesnoy, which claimed 122 New Zealand lives.

"We will be planting a replacement tree, but we're at a loss as to understand why it was taken in the first place," said David Hammond, Thames-Coromandel District Council chief executive.

He said the spate of incidents were really disappointing, costly and damaging to the Coromandel brand.

"We strive to maintain the Coromandel brand, which is about protecting and preserving our natural resources and biodiversity and we hope that our ratepayers, residents and visitors to our District will do the same," Mr Hammond said.

Anyone with information about tree damage or removal is urged to contact the council.