Remote Cabin Vandalized with Swastika Graffiti by Department of Conservation

Shireen Deeb
Published 2 weeks ago on 8 February, 2024
Kirwans Hut vandalism investigation

“The discovery of swastikas painted on the remote DOC hut at Kirwans has sparked outrage and concern among conservationists and the public. This treasured backcountry refuge for trampers has been defaced with hateful symbols, prompting a Kirwans Hut vandalism investigation. This act not only mars the beauty of the West Coast’s Victoria Forest Park but also disrespects the hard work of volunteers and the Department of Conservation (DOC).”

Key takeaways

  • Swastikas painted on Kirwans Hut, a remote DOC facility.
  • Damage discovered by a visitor in January.
  • Extensive repairs needed after vandalism.
  • Police are investigating the incident and seeking information.
The remote Kirwans Hut in New Zealand’s Victoria Forest Park was vandalized with swastikas, causing extensive damage and prompting a police investigation.

Kirwans Hut vandalism investigation: Extent of Damage Detailes

The swastikas painted on remote DOC hut have not only defiled the exterior but also caused significant physical damage. Vandals broke the toilet lid, smashed the guttering, and left the interior in disarray. This senseless act has undone the recent renovations that took 200 hours of dedicated volunteer labor.

DOC staff have painstakingly removed the hateful graffiti, including on the new roof, and repaired the damage. However, the cleanup diverted resources from other essential conservation efforts, highlighting the broader impact of such vandalism on community projects and nature preservation.

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Community and Police Response to Vandalism

The swastikas painted on remote DOC hut have elicited a strong response from the community and authorities. The DOC and the Backcountry Trust, responsible for the hut’s upkeep, have condemned the vandalism as “senseless and sickening.” The incident has marred the spirit of conservation and volunteerism that characterizes New Zealand’s backcountry ethos.

Police are actively seeking information to apprehend the perpetrators. They encourage anyone with knowledge of the incident to come forward. The community’s cooperation is crucial in preventing future acts of vandalism and preserving the integrity of New Zealand’s natural heritage.

Location Damage Reported Response
Kirwans Hut, Victoria Forest Park Swastikas, broken facilities, general disarray Repairs completed, police investigation ongoing
Other Nearby Huts No similar vandalism reported DOC staff conducted checks
Volunteer Effort 200 hours for recent renovation Backcountry Trust’s work undone

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“Swastikas painted on a remote DOC hut have shocked the community, prompting a swift cleanup and repairs by the Department of Conservation. This incident at Kirwans Hut, a treasured backcountry refuge for trampers, serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilance and community support in protecting New Zealand’s backcountry treasures. In response, a Kirwans Hut vandalism investigation has been launched. Police are actively seeking information to ensure those responsible are held accountable and to deter future acts of vandalism. Despite this setback, the spirit of conservation remains strong. Volunteers and DOC staff continue to work tirelessly to maintain these vital wilderness refuges.”


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