War memorial vandalism ‘mindless’ - Mahuta

By Te Ao - Māori News
Crosses vandalised in Huntly over the weekend - Facebook / Antonello Savini

Minister of Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta has spoken out at the recent vandalism to crosses in Huntly and the cenotaph at Ngāruawāhia, saying she is deeply disappointed and angry.

Mahuta has called the actions ‘mindless’, and asked for anyone with information on the perpetrators to come forward.

“While I cannot begin to understand the motivation behind these attacks, we all reject the intended impact on those who served with honour and courage to defend our values and way of life,” Mahuta said in a press release.

The Ngāruawāhia cenotaph was defaced and two bronze wreaths were stolen sometime on Tuesday night, while a group of temporary wooden crosses were driven over in Huntly over Easter weekend.

“It’s an important time to acknowledge those who were lost and never returned and when you think of the impact on small communities like Huntly and Ngāruawāhia, that loss is significant.” the minister continued.

“I stress that while it is the mindless act by a small number of individuals, this is not supported by the majority of locals. Any knowledge or information about either event should be given to the police.”

Te Ao understands that the crosses in Huntly were replaced and set up in time for this morning's commemoration service.

Mahuta is currently in the United States for the UN Indigenous Summit.