RSA furious as another war memorial vandalised ahead of ANZAC Day

The Hātuma war memorial has been struck several times and damaged significantly.
The Hātuma war memorial has been struck several times and damaged significantly. Photo credit: RSA / Supplied

The RSA has expressed its frustration after the vandalism of another war memorial ahead of ANZAC Day. 

A war memorial at Hātuma, near Waipukurau in central Hawke's Bay, was damaged on Friday night in what the RSA has described as "a senseless act of vandalism". 

The RSA's District President for Wairarapa, Hawke's Bay and East Coast Peter Jackson said the local community is "upset by the damage". 

He believes it won't be possible to repair the damage ahead of ANZAC Day. 

"It's just unbelievable that anyone could have so little respect for this memorial, for those from this community who served and gave their lives in the First and Second World Wars." 

Jackson said the bronze plaque on the front of the memorial has been struck several times and is now "severely damaged".

"As soon as we learned of the damage, we contacted Alex Walker, the Mayor of Central Hawke's Bay," Jackson explained. "We've put in place a plan to repair the damage, but with ANZAC Day in less than two weeks there's not enough time to have the repairs completed before then." 

The damaged Hātuma war memorial.
The damaged Hātuma war memorial. Photo credit: RSA / Supplied

"The damaged plaque will remain in place to ensure those from the district who served can be represented and honoured." 

The damage at the Hātuma War Memorial follows an increase in vandalism at war memorials across the country, with both the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch and the National War Memorial in Wellington recently being defaced. 

Te Awamutu's War Memorial Park was also vandalised in February, costing hundreds of dollars in repairs. 

"War memorials and cenotaphs across the country were built as a place of commemoration, to pay respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf," Jackson stressed. 

"Any damage to a memorial is an incredible show of disrespect for the fallen and the community they represent." 

"Regardless of the statement you want to make, whether it's in protest or just an act of stupidity, we ask that you show some respect and stay away from New Zealand's War Memorials."