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The tōtara tree was broken and thrown aside a few days after being planted in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: SUPPLIED/HDC

Queen’s tōtara tree vandalised in Paeroa

A tōtara tree planted in the Paeroa Domain to mark the passing of Queen Elizabeth II was vandalised only six days after it was put in the ground.
In commemoration of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, Hauraki District Council planted three tōtara trees in each of its main town centres, Paeroa, Ngatea, and Waihi, enlisting help from local students along the way.
The Queen, whose reign lasted 70 years, died aged 96 at Balmoral Castle early on September 9, New Zealand time.
District Mayor Toby Adams told The Profile that just a few days after being planted, vandals broke the Paeroa tree out of the ground and threw it away. “We are hugely disappointed that anyone would vandalise any part of our parks and reserves, particularly a newly planted native tree,” he said.
The tree was planted with the help of two pupils from Paeroa College – Arihia Morehu, head student of manukura; and Hamish Buchanan, head student of community.
The council earlier acknowledged that the event was something Arihia said she would “always remember”.
None of the other memorial trees were vandalised, and a replacement tree for the Paeroa Domain has since been planted.