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Kind Kiwi steps in after thieves take Auckland family's garden memorial to late father

A koru garden memorial to a loving husband and father stolen over lockdown has been replaced by a generous donor and handed over by police.

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Seven Sharp was with the family as they receive a very special delivery. Source: Seven Sharp

Angela Yates from Auckland’s Mt Wellington had one of her two koru stolen from her garden over Alert Level 3.

The memorial to her husband was symbolic of “growth, strength and peace”, Yates said, devastated by the loss.

Yates' landscaper husband, Rob, died of a heart attack at age 45 when the couple's children were aged four and seven. He planted Nikau palms on the section ahead of the family home being built.  

"So for the first Father’s Day we got the two korus,” she told Seven Sharp.

"I just couldn't believe it, couldn't believe that someone could actually take it away, just steal it,” Yates said.

"The other one was lying on its side and they were trying to take that as well, but yeah we have been pretty upset."

Upset and needing a solution, Yates called Heather Rose from Sanstone New Zealand.

"A lady phoned me quite distressed and said one of her korus had gone missing, somebody had taken it. And it meant so much to her, I could tell by her voice on the phone," Rose said.

Rose decided to replace the koru by way of a donation to the family, and the New Zealand police handed it over.

"I was really affected by her story - that someone had come on to her property and taken something that was so important to her and her children and we really wanted to help out,” the police inspector said.

"I'm just really happy we can do this for her."