Canada's gift to John Key smashed, vandalised on way to New Zealand

New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key at the official opening of the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. ( AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Photo credit: File

Two sculptures intended as Canada's gift to New Zealand were deliberately smashed in transit - and no one could figure out who did it.

The soapstone carvings of a whale and a bear were chosen from the country's federal 'gift bank' in 2016, meant for the country's then-Prime Minister John Key and then-Attorney General Christopher Finlayson.

But they never made it - at least, not in one piece.

The two gifts were found "vandalised and broken beyond repair" upon their arrival, Michelle Douglas from the department who chose the sculptures said in a report, according to CBC News.

"It appears totally deliberate," Ms Douglas said in the report, obtained by CBC News in an official information act request.

"The gift boxes were totally undamaged but the 'stuffing' inside the boxes was removed and shoved into the bag."

It is unclear in which of three countries the package travelled through that they were broken, meaning no police action could be taken.

Together, the two gifts were valued at just over NZ$1300.

A replacement whale and bear were later sent out, CBC News reports.