The Department of Conservation is requesting help from the public to identify persons responsible for a deliberate act of vandalism that damaged the new hut at Rodger Inlet on Lake Monowai.
Concerned hunters reported the incident to DOC when they discovered names burned into one of the hut’s timber posts.
The hut took six weeks to construct at a total cost of $90,000. DOC Programme Manager for Recreation, Brian Murphy, said, “This type of moronic behaviour poses a real risk to improving backcountry facilities. Devaluing the work we’re doing means ultimately the community could lose out - there’s less incentive to build new or upgrade facilities using valuable resources if they’re going to be vandalised.
“This hut provides new levels of comfort in a very special place in Southland. But to have the new hut spoiled after only a few weeks is demoralising for everyone. We now have to repair this deliberate damage using time and money that should be put to more productive use,” Mr Murphy said.
Two people’s names and a nick-name were burned into a timber veranda post outside the hut’s door. DOC would like to hear from anyone who might know ‘Robbie’, ‘Scud’ or ‘Rob’.
The hut located at Rodger Inlet on Lake Monowai is typically used by hunters, fishers and trampers. It was completed at Easter as part of an ongoing program by DOC to maintain and upgrade its backcountry facilities.
Mr Murphy said anyone with information about the damage should contact Otautau Police on +64 3 225 8446 or DOC Invercargill office on +64 3 211 2400.