Cyclone Gabrielle: Napier Golf Club targeted by looters taking 'whatever was left undestroyed'

Looting has continued in Napier with the local golf club reporting thieves have taken "whatever was left undestroyed" from Cyclone Gabrielle. 

Napier Golf Club has been ravaged by the floodwaters from the Tutaekuri River, with the fairways flooded or covered in silt while the clubroom also had "deep silt through it". 

On top of all the damage, Andrew Henare - who runs the club shop - said they had been targeted by thieves. 

"The Shop, Course & Club House are all a mess, didn’t help some people broke in before we got there to take whatever was left un-destroyed, but we are all good, we are so lucky compared to most with all the devastation and loss others are trying to deal with around our community," Henare wrote in a Facebook post. 

Napier Golf Club president Riki Mitchell said the break-in was "survivable" but still disheartening.

The club, which features around 920 members, has rallied together in the days since to try to save the course, but Henare warns it'll be a long recovery. 

"I will not sugar coat this, it is going to be a long recovery, our 12th and 13th fairways are underwater still. Many fairways are covered in silt, some quite deep. Our club room has boot-deep silt through it," Henare wrote. 

"Today [Friday] we have cleared a lot of silt off most of the greens only 4 greens are completely under silt. If we remove the silt we maybe able to save the greens. Then we can work on the fairways and clearing debris. and fence lines."

Looting has been an issue in the Hawke's Bay region, with Justice Minister Kiri Allan calling on thieves to "get your act together" and "cut it out".  

Napier Golf Club.
Napier Golf Club. Photo credit: Facebook

It comes after Police arrested five people following a burglary at a commercial building in Hastings on Thursday, while three others were arrested after reports of gunshots on Saturday evening.  

Locals have also complained about looting, with items like nappies, generators and prized possessions stolen from flood-damaged homes. 

"The vulnerable are now getting their stuff stolen. The gangs are coming in, or looters in general. They're threatening people, stealing their stuff. We are very scared, people are very scared," Napier local Grant Porter told Newshub.

Ashbelle Wyatt has been helping people she doesn't even know and says her Onekawa house was targeted last week.

"At night time a ute pulled up outside our house, faces and number plates covered. What were they trying to do? Obviously steal from houses that had been evacuated."