A family owned honey business in the Far North is vowing to rebuild after an attack on their beehives destroyed around 40 hives and millions of bees.
Kai Ora Honey in Awanui, north of Kaitaia is owned by a group of siblings who founded it after the death of their father at the age of 44.
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The Murray family are well-known in the area for the contribution they make to the local community and support their provide to smaller beekeepers, and export honey around the world.
In a Facebook post the family shared their heartbreak at discovering the attack.
"Here at Kai Ora Honey we put our blood, sweat and our tears into our hives, which is the heart and soul of our whanau lead business here in Northland. So when we come to check the health of our bees which are behind locked gates, it is devastating to discover that their homes have been purposely destroyed with nothing but the intent to kill bees," it said.
"Whoever carried out this disgusting act, not only have you harmed a species that is already struggling to survive in today's world (and one that enables the human race to survive too!)"
"BUT you are also harming a small family business whom has always tried its best to give back to its community in a region that already struggles with high unemployment, low incomes & very few opportunities to succeed!," said the post.
It said those responsible had made it even harder for the siblings to provide for our young families during already difficult times.
"When we lost our father at the young age of 44 we were left with NOTHING!!! We used the knowledge he passed on to us, with all our courage and strength to carry on and build this business from the ground up!"
"This is what you have tried to tear down, by destroying over $30,000 worth of property & livestock and TAKEN away our source of income!"
However the company is vowing to rebuild, despite the setback.
"Know your actions only fuel our fire to be better and stronger. This WON'T stop us!"
Kaitaia police are investigating.