Vandals spill milk, slash tyres on Canterbury farms


A spate of vandalism across Canterbury has the rural community concerned.

A Hororata farm had around 30 tyres slashed around its irrigation pivots on Saturday morning, and nearby in Leeston, thousands of litres of milk was lost in a vandalism attack.

"Turned up 3:15am to find the valve had been opened, dumped the milk out onto the tanker track... and out through the stormwater system," farm owner John Sunckell told RadioLIVE's Rural Exchange.

He says it probably wasn't the work of criminals, but environmental mischief-makers.

"We initially thought it was a burglary gone wrong, but you just have to think the stuff was there they could have flogged, nothing else happened - just the gate valve wide open, 6000 litres of milk gone."

It's believed the two incidents may be related.

Mr Sunckell said the attacks show the urban-rural divide on farming issues is real.

"A lot of noise around some of the environmental groups, particularly up in the Darfield, Hororata area with the irrigation that's happening there. You can't draw conclusions but it all happened on the same night - it's really hard not to draw those conclusions."

Activists have accused farmers of polluting the environment. Mr Sunckell says he doesn't have any disgruntled staff or ex-employees who might have done it.

"I just don't think they can get past their dogma," Mr Sunckell said of environmentalists, saying there was "no sense" in releasing so much milk into the waterways.

A controversial water tax proposed by Labour, which will lead the next Government, looks unlikely to go ahead thanks to a compromise with coalition partner NZ First.

Rural Exchange with Hamish McKay, Sarah Perriam and Richard Loe, 5-7am Saturday and Sunday on RadioLIVE with Carter’s Tyre Service. Click here for all the ways to watch and listen.