Charity hardly in evidence at gardens


January 10, 2020 - 74 views

The sign at the gardens at the Waitaki Community Mental Health Service centre at the corner of Humber and Trent Sts says ‘‘Please take, give or swap’’.

For the last eight years it has been take, take, take.

And the garden’s operator Annie Beattie, of Oamaru, says she has had a ‘‘gutsful’’.

‘‘I grow vegetables and then we give them back to the community,’’ she said. ‘‘It’s for people that need it.

‘‘The most recent incidents have been potatoes that have been dug up, on the new potatoes somebody’s just come along and taken the top off potatoes, this is just last week. Carrots, radishes and peas have been dug up.’’

This week, the shelves on which she put the vegetables for those in need were taken too.

Over the years thefts and vandalism at the two privately owned gardens, at the mental health centre, and in Coquet St, beside Oamaru Work and Income, have increased. .

Vegetables were stolen, or simply destroyed, lavender plants were poisoned, hoses were slashed. It got so bad at Trent St, she installed security cameras.

‘‘We even had the cameras cut out,’’ Ms Beattie said.

Now, she is asking the community to keep an eye out and report suspicious behaviour in the area.

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