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Vandals put water users at risk

Environment Waikato chair Jenni Vernon is deeply distressed by the actions of vandals who have damaged two navigation safety signs in the Karapiro and Pauanui areas recently.

“These thoughtless individuals are putting people’s safety at risk and creating unnecessary expense for ratepayers,” Cr Vernon said.

The signs, one located next to a Lake Karapiro boat ramp and the other at Pauanui, contained information about water use zones, how to keep safe, and who to contact in an emergency.

“We put up these signs because they contain important messages about how to use our waterways safely,” Cr Vernon said.

“We’re concerned someone could have an accident due to them being damaged or destroyed.”

Both signs had been set alight, and the Lake Karapiro sign had been chainsawed through the middle. They will cost about $500 each to replace.

Over the past 12 months, about 45 other navigation safety signs owned by Environment Waikato around the region have been vandalized, with some needing to be replaced.

“People graffiti them, they throw things at them, they cut them down, they shoot at them, they run them over with cars – the list of senseless acts goes on and on,” Cr Vernon said.

“These vandals are putting other people at risk.”

Environment Waikato regularly checks its signs to ensure they are in good order.

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