Bay of Plenty police officials are investigating the deliberate cutting of 150 kiwifruit vines in a local orchard. Te Teko rural liaison officer Constable Wayne Lawrence said the damage had set the vines back three years, incurring a high financial cost through loss of income and an ongoing cost to repair the vines for the orchardist who might not be able to recoup the costs.
Kiwifruit orchards were a large employer in the Te Teko area, so the crime also affected employment and investment in the community. Te Teko is a small town on the banks of the Rangitaiki River in eastern Bay of Plenty.
Lawrence encourages growers to make their properties as secure as possible, by installing CCTV, gate sensors and the use of solid storage. Members of the public should also report any suspicious behaviour to police.