A family in Ruakaka is "incredibly disappointed" after half a dozen sick piglets were stolen from their property.
John Haile says the animals were taken on Friday night, and the family is offering a reward of $1000 for the animals' "safe return and the name and address of the thief".
"Somebody decided to open my gate, walk in and run away with six of them," Haile told Newshub on Tuesday.
"For us, it's not the fact that somebody's taken $700 worth of piglets, it's the fact that somebody's walked through your property willy-nilly and helped themselves to anything they felt like. It's almost a feeling of violation really."
Haile said the worst part was that his two children - aged 10 and 12 - were "incredibly confused" by what happened.
"When you've got young children they get incredibly confused as to what gives someone the right just to walk in and take something, when you've spent all their life convincing them that they shouldn't go in a shop and ever take anything that doesn't belong to them," he said.
"You spend all your life educating your children to do the right thing and then at the first opportunity someone does the wrong thing.
"You're just taking them for personal gain - well that's not right."
To make matters worse, the piglets were suffering from rotavirus, a highly infectious virus of the gut, Haile said.
He had concerns not only for the animals' welfare but also that the virus could spread.
Although the thief has not been identified, Haile said "if you join all the dots together" it was obviously someone local and known to many in the area.
"That is the incredibly disappointing thing, the fact that nobody wants to name this person because of connections and it's a local person."
Police said they were making enquiries into the incident and encouraged "those responsible to do the right thing and return the pigs to their rightful owner".
Anyone with any information is asked to contact police on 105 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.