Poverty might be behind theft of slide, monkey bars from kindergarten - owner

The owner of a south Auckland kindergarten which had $5000 of playground equipment stolen says she doesn't understand why people would want to steal from a pre-school.

Playground equipment including a slide and monkey bars were ripped out of the kindergarten's playground overnight Wednesday.

Owner of Small Kauri Early Childhood Education Centre, Linda Petrenko, told The AM Show her pre-school isn't that flash.

"We're not flash at our centre... we have an ethos of repair, replace, recycle, do it yourself... why take it from Small Kauri when everything is actually of that nature?" said Ms Petrenko..

While host Duncan Garner said the people were "scumbags", Ms Petrenko said she finds it difficult labelling them that, especially around Christmas.

"I kind of struggle with that idea of scumbag and I guess working with children you are trying to teach them about right and wrong, and that is very much written into our curriculum.

"This is wrong, this is wrong, but part of me is sort of saying that this is the kind of thing that happens around Christmas time particularly when there is a lot of poverty," she said.

"Someone's maybe trying to do something nice for their own children, the wrong way."

Ms Petrenko said she had heard from a woman in the community that a flatbed truck had been seen with what appeared to be the climbing wall on the back.

She is appealing for those who took the equipment to leave it at a public park behind a nearby Fresh Choice supermarket, which she doesn't believe is monitored.

Throughout the ordeal, Ms Petrenko said the children at the pre-school had been "amazing" and along with the police had come up with several working theories about where the equipment had gone.

"We say that the police are our version of superheroes. Superheroes aren't real but police do good stuff," she said.