Wellington Scoop

Arson at Lake Taupö: five houses set on fire, two destroyed

News from NZ Police
Police are asking for the public’s help following arsons at five Lake Taupö properties last weekend. In the earlier hours of Sunday, the five properties on the eastern side of Lake Taupö in Tauranga Taupö, Waitetoko and Hatepe were damaged by intentionally lit fires.

The fire in Hatepe is particularly concerning as a family was asleep in the house when it was set alight. Fortunately they became aware of the fire and managed to leave without injury or loss of life.

However two houses were destroyed.

Detective Sergeant Andy Livingstone says Police know incidents such as this are extremely distressing, particularly for those involved, but also for the wider community.

“We would like to assure the public Police are committed to fully investigating this matter and holding those responsible to account.”

Police are asking to hear from anyone who saw vehicles travelling on and around State Highway 1 early on Sunday morning.

“In particular Police are interested in any vehicles entering or leaving the settlements of Hatepe, Waitetoko and Tauranga Taupö,” says Detective Sergeant Livingstone. “We would especially be keen to hear from anyone with dashcam footage that may have captured vehicle details. And of course, if anyone has any other information about these arsons or the people involved, we would strongly urge you to come forward and share that information with Police.”

Anyone with information should get in touch with Taupö Police by phoning 105 and quoting file number 200114/9694. You can also give information anonymously at Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

RNZ: Locals shocked by fires lit as family slept