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The theft of garden equipment has left volunteers at the Waitaki Community Gardens shocked and disappointed.

A ride-on lawn mower and petrol line trimmer were stolen from the locked property overnight on Wednesday last week.

Police had been notified of the theft, and gardens site and volunteer co-ordinator Ra McRostie said it was upsetting the items, valued at up to $3000, had been taken.

“For me, it’s particularly disappointing because what we are doing here is trying to create alternatives for people,” Ms McRostie said.

“If someone feels like they have to steal something to make ends meet, I’m sorry but I have no respect for that attitude.

“What we are doing here is creating opportunities to come and participate, learn new skills, become more employable, and also earn yourself food, and learn about being part of the community.”

The lawn mower and line trimmer were donated or acquired through funding, and the gardens did not have a lot of equipment to work with.

Volunteers would be “scrounging around” for other lawn mowers to use, until it could figure out how to obtain another one, she said.

It was not the first time the gardens had been targeted, with multiple incidents throughout the years where the gardens grounds were damaged.

“I feel disappointed, but also it just wears you down because of the intention that you bring in this space.”

The gardens were created by volunteers who nurtured and loved maintaining the site for the community.

“Our kaupapa is sharing and openess and so events like this really crash head on into those philosophies and just aren’t what we are about.

“We carry on here is important and we care about it. We’re inspired to do this work.”

“Ninety-nine percent of the community are great people, and are very honouring and very supportive of the space and the initiatives that we do here.”

She encouraged the public to contact the police if they had any information about the thefts.

“Anyone that ever sees anything that just doesn’t seem quite right, please just get in touch with the police – the police are aware that we’ve had problems up here.”

Waitaki Community Gardens Trust chairwoman Gloria Hurst said the gardens were intended for growing the land, its people and its future.

“With the ongoing support of our wonderful community we will strive to eliminate the current social issues,” Mrs Hurst said.jordan SneakersThe world is yours – Neue Sneaker, Apparel und mehr für Kids