'Treasured' pounamu carving stolen from Hanmer Springs pool complex

Canterbury police have released CCTV footage of a thief taking a "treasured" pounamu carving from the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa complex.

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The incident happened in the early hours of this morning.

The thief, dressed in black with a hooded top and cover over his face, can be seen dismantling the droplet-carved taonga in the early hours of this morning.

The carving, representing the company’s logo, had been made from a pounamu boulder, originally discovered near Greymouth in 2015 and weighing 4.7 tonnes, Stuff reports.

The sculpture was created by Ngāi Tahu carver Fayne Robinson and his nephew Caleb Robinson, who spent hours carving the two pieces of stone which were installed at the complex in 2017.

Police say staff and visitors are “absolutely devastated” and are hoping for the return of the carving.

Anyone with any information or who recognises the thief can contact police on 105 and quote the file number 200111/9331.

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.