Monkey Island camp vandalism angers

    Southland District Council staff arrived at the Monkey Island campground on Tuesday morning to find someone had driven a dirt bike through freshly-laid concrete and newly-sewn grass. Photo: Supplied

    A MONKEY Island campground user with five generations buried at the nearby cemetery is furious after discovering someone drove a dirt bike through freshly-laid concrete at the site.

    Invercargill resident Donna Hotop was “very, very angry” to wake up to a post on the Southland District Council (SDC) social media page on Tuesday morning and see pictures of deep tyre tracks left in the freshly-laid concrete path outside the new toilet facilities.

    “I am very, very angry.

    “Personally, it is a very special place to me as I have five generations resting in the cemetery above Monkey Island.”

    The worst part was, it was likely a local who inflicted the damage as there was not too many campers with dirt bikes on board, she said.

    SDC’s post states staff discovered someone had torn through the concrete and ripped up the newly-sown grass area on Monday night.

    “This idiotic behaviour has resulted in some costly repairs.

    “Ultimately, this impacts the community as it’s money which can’t be invested in other worthwhile projects.”

    The council were working hard with contractors to provide a “fantastic space” at Monkey Island for locals and visitors to enjoy, and hoped it would be respected by all users.

    SDC, along with the Orepuki community development area, began the Monkey Island upgrade, which included two new toilet facilities, in August last year.

    The site renovation, between Tuatapere and Riverton, had caused controversy among community members who said they were not consulted on the plans.

    Ms Hotop said a lot of people fought hard to have the area re-instated to accommodate all visitors and campers after SDC turned it into “a gravel pit” last year, without consultation.

    A petition to reinstate the grass area garnered hundreds of signatures and the council eventually agreed to do so.

    “The improvements are for everyone, not just campers.

    “Many Southland families make Monkey Island a destination for a day out.”

    She hoped the person responsible for the damage would be found and held accountable.Sports brandsNike