A historic hut in the Tararua Range, three hours’ walk from the nearest road, has been trashed, baffling trampers and conservationists.
“They left it a pig-sty really, we’re really upset,” said Tararua Tramping Club member Barry Durrant, who discovered the “scene of utter vandalism” when arriving at Cone Hut on the Tauherenikau River, west of Greytown, with fellow club member Grant Timlin on Friday.
A 10-litre can of white acrylic paint, left over from a working bee, had been tipped on the floor, mattresses had been slashed and one dumped in the pool of paint. The hut was strewn with rubbish and the hut book, a vital safety tool, was missing and its case smashed and burnt.
Cone Hut, with its unique character and its history, is one of the neatest back-country huts to visit in the Tararua Range. It’s well looked after, both by committed Tararua Tramping Club members and by DOC, on behalf of the public and the hut’s users.
This is the type of cost that nobody wants to have to pay for, but worse than that is that it’ll be a kick in the guts for many of those people who donated time, effort and expertise so that any others can enjoy and take advantage of the facility.
I suppose there will always be an element of society who sees this as some kind of victimless crime, or simply doesn’t care. It’s not victimless.