16 May 2017

Police on the track of Canterbury sportsground vandal

7:29 pm on 16 May 2017

Emotions are running high in a South Island town as police hunt for the driver responsible for ripping up a community sports field.

No caption

A new $22,000 cricket ground, two rugby fields and a football pitch have been wrecked. Photo: Supplied / Bill Steans

A green Nissan Terrano drove over the barrier of the Pleasant Point Domain about 3am Monday and started doing skids and donuts on the wet ground, creating deep ruts, ripping up grass and destroying goal posts.

As a result, a new $22,000 cricket ground, two rugby fields and a football pitch have become unusable ahead of the winter sport season.

Pleasant Point rugby football club president Jeremy Cunningham said he was devastated when he heard the news.

"In a small community for someone to go out and do it, and there is obviously no meaning behind it... is very frustrating," he said.

Pleasant Point constable Kris Howes said the culprit could be a local.

"Given the location of where you can get onto the sports field, you have to know that [the entrance] is there," he said.

No caption

Photo: Supplied / Bill Steans

Mr Howes said the vandal could possibly be from one of the other small towns nearby.

The Pleasant Point Domain is run by Timaru District Council, and its head of parks and recreation, Bill Steans, said they had already received offers of free grass seed and the manpower to sow it.

But he said it could be some time before the grounds were back to normal.

"The unfortunate thing is that we can't really do anything to repair it until spring. We are starting to get frost and the grass won't grow," he said.

Mr Steans said the council would assess the damage and figure out how to get the fields back up and running.

Police are asking anyone who saw the green Nissan Terrano to come forward.