Regional | Crime

Solar panels stolen from Mōtakotako Marae in Raglan

Members of a Waikato Tainui Marae are left furious after solar panels generating power for the marae were taken.

Marae chairman and kaitiaki, Mr Tahi Rangiawha said, "Were utterly disappointed to have this happen to our Marae during what's supposed to be a happy time for us all".

Ten solar panels were allegedly stolen from Mōtakotako marae near Raglan just before Christmas.

Mr Rangiawha believes the incident occurred between December 24 and 26. "The last time I was here was Christmas eve and everything was in place. I returned on the 27th to find the panels were gone".

It's the first time Mōtakotako marae has been the target of this type of theft.

The forty solar panels worth $30,000 were installed on a hill next to the mare nine months ago with the assistance of Waikato Tainui.

They generate enough power to run the entire marae including the wharenui and wharekai.

Mr Rangiawha says their small community are on high alert, "as a precautionary measure, the marae gates and buildings, usually open to the hapū, are now locked down and security cameras have been installed."

Daily monitoring will be conducted.

Mr Rangiawha is urging any whānau or visitors traveling to the marae or urupā to make contact with the marae guardians beforehand.

The case has been reported to the Raglan police.