A World War I memorial brass plaque has been stolen from a headstone at Omakau Cemetery, in Central Otago.
Police say the plaque was taken sometime after November 10th.
The round plaque features Brittania and a lion, with the name Samuel Corrigal engraved on it.
The memorial plaques were issued to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire servicemen who were killed in the war.
Senior Constable Darren Cox says it is a "reprehensible" act.
"Not only is it the theft, but the significance of the plaque to the family that has caused a lot of distress," he says.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Omakau police on (03) 440 2190.
Alternatively, information can be provided anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.