15 Apr 2024

Hawke's Bay war memorial: Vandalism 'sad', 'unacceptable' - RSA

6:36 pm on 15 April 2024
A close-up of the damaged plaque at Hātuma War Memorial in Hawke's Bay.

A close-up of the damaged plaque at Hātuma War Memorial in Hawke's Bay. Photo: Supplied / RSA

Ahead of Anzac Day commemorations, the RSA has hit out at a memorial being desecrated.

The bronze plaque on the front of the memorial at Hātuma at Waipukurau in Hawke's Bay has been struck several times and severely damaged.

The incident follows an increase in vandalism at war memorials around the country; with both the Bridge of Remembrance in Christchurch and the National War Memorial in Wellington recently defaced by protesters.

Wairarapa and Hawke's Bay RSA president Peter Jackson believed a hammer had been used in the attack and said it caused quite a lot of damage.

He told Checkpoint it was unbelievable anyone could have so little respect for the community members who served and gave their lives in World War 1 and II.

"It's very sad that such an item has been defaced and desecrated in that way."

The Hātuma War Memorial in Hawke's Bay.

The memorial plaque is attached to a boulder. Photo: Supplied / nzhistory.govt.nz, via RSA

He found it hard to work out any reason reason for the vandalism, however, it was disappointing.

"They're a very special place, they're a place of remembrance and reflection.

"They're also a place families can go to to remember their loved ones who fell during war so to vandalise a war memorial is just unacceptable in our view."

He confirmed it would not be fixed in time for Anzac Day although there was a plan for repairs to start immediately afterwards.