Media Release: 15 November 2022
Vandals have damaged the recently completed Lake Opuha Track, near Fairlie, for a second time, requiring significant additional money and resources for remediation of this new community asset.
Members of Opuha Water Ltd.’s Operations Team were notified by a member of the public who found the damage, after noticing a vehicle in a restricted access area.
The vandals attacked the main accessway to the track, snapping off a post and badly damaging an access control gate.
Chief Executive of Opuha Water Ltd, Andrew Mockford, said it was incredibly frustrating to have people damage a community asset.
“We have spent a significant amount of time, money and resources building the track for the community to enjoy. To have this happen after being fully completed for only a month is extremely disappointing.
“This is not the first incident of vandalism of the track. We are baffled as to why people do these destructive and anti-social actions.”
The damage, which saw the main gated entrance at Bennet’s Boat Ramp “blown out,” is believed to have been caused between Thursday evening 10 November and early Saturday morning, most likely by a vehicle forcing a way through it.
The track was laid over winter by Opuha Water to provide a safe place for the community and families to walk and bike and enjoy the beautiful Lake Opuha scenery.
The track has three gates, with one opened at the Bennet’s Road Boat Ramp during peak summer periods to provide safe access to boating and picnic areas. The other gates restrict access to vehicles all year so that the remaining section can be solely for people walking and biking.
Mockford says the on-going acts of vandalism makes spending money on community projects less appealing for Opuha Water.
“We are a cooperative company, owned by South Canterbury locals and we want to continue to carry out projects for the benefit of our community. But it is really discouraging when there is such disregard for what has been created.”
If anyone has information on this, please contact the Fairlie Police Station.