Local History Destroyed
A hand drawn map of the Queen Mary Hospital, created more than a century ago, has been destroyed by a group who vandalised the Queen Mary Hospital last Saturday night in Hanmer Springs.
A 19 year-old Rangiora resident was arrested on Saturday night, after he and five friends broke into the Chisholm Ward of the Queen Mary Hospital.
This latest spate of damage included three broken doors, two broken windows and the destruction of an irreplaceable historic map. It has left local security and police reeling with frustration.
The alarm sounded after the group broke into the vacant hospital ward, their actions culminating in $2500 worth of damage.
The sounding of the alarm resulted in police arresting one of the offenders, the others having fled the scene before police arrived. However, a recently installed security camera served its purpose and Hanmer Security have clear footage of all the offenders.
General Manager of Hanmer Security, Marc Tansey said it is the destruction of history that creates the most frustration and heartbreak. “Leave this place alone and show it some respect, there’s such history here,” he said.
Tansey has one clear message for the offender arrested at the scene. “Pay for the damages.”
During the past six months there have been three break-ins at the Queen Mary Hospital, including 12 smashed windows.
Twelve months ago a group of offenders were prosecuted after they caused $7000 worth of damage by kicking in four rimu doors of the Soldiers’ Block.
Hurunui District Council’s Chief Strategy and Community Officer Judith Batchelor said the doors, which are worth $1000 each, are yet to be replaced and the damaged areas are currently boarded up.
“The grounds of the Hospital are still maintained, but the unoccupied buildings have sadly been a target,” she said. “It’s mindless vandalism.”