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Vandals waste reserve

The Aucklander

Joanna Davies
24th March 2011

Joanna Davies gets to the seat of a problem.

When not working from home, Diane Lucca spends much of her time gardening. The self-confessed gardening addict makes sure her lawn is manicured, with flowers and native plants in neat borders.

She loves gardening so much that she's had to find other areas to work on - and the Queen's chain land that separates her property from the Te Atatu Peninsula coastline is now a pet project.

"When we first moved in here this part was full of gorse and rubbish and bits of old cars, and the walkway along the reserve was completely overgrown," says Mrs Lucca. "We've spent a lot of time clearing it out and planting it, and a lot of people who come through here say how nice it looks."

The addition of a blue bench for people to sit on has proven popular with weekend walkers, but Mrs Lucca is disappointed that it is a target for vandals. "The first bench we put here was ripped out and stolen. We put up signs to see if anyone knew who had taken it, but we never found it."

Since then a local resident has given Mrs Lucca another bench as a replacement, but that has been vandalised.

"Someone has ripped off some of the slats and the brace in the middle is loose.

It is very frustrating when you put in hard work to keep everything nice and people do this."

The peninsula has had its share of problems over the summer with rowdy youths congregating in some of the reserves. "Young people come down here at night because it's away from the road, and they are often drinking and making noise," says Mrs Lucca. "We do call the police, but I don't see us getting a security guard or something like that to keep an eye on everything."

In January, The Aucklander reported on problems at the peninsula's Wainamu Bay Reserve.

Neighbourhood support coordinator Christine Roberts says things are looking better in that part of the suburb. "Things have improved greatly around here. Of late we have had one lady mention that two plants that she planted one day were gone the next.

"That is the only problem in the past three weeks, which is a good improvement."

Te Atatu Peninsula community constable Faga Siaki says the suburb is generally very safe. "It is hard to comment because I don't know about this particular concern, but I do want to stress that people should call us if there is a problem, and then the operators can send someone out to have a look."

You got a problem with that?

Police ask residents to call 111 rather than the community police station if antisocial behaviour is disturbing the peace. This way the dispatchers can send someone out to check. It is also helpful to take licence plate numbers, and to join a neighbourhood support group. Community constables can help with this.


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Page last modified on 24 May 2011 at 02:45 AM.