Christchurch golf course green vandalized with anti-Mandate messages

The Christchurch golf club has had anti-Mandate messages scoured into its green, but the club manager says a bit of vandalism is just par for the course.

Sometime in the past week, meters-long messages like “freedom”, “no mandates”, and “discrimination is not ok” were sprayed into two of the Hagley Golf Club’s Fairways and its first tee, with weedkiller.

Club president Joe Toner said he was quite perplexed, especially given the effort it would have taken on the Vandals.

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“It’s Bizarre … it’s take quite a while for someone to achieve, and they’d have to have done it at night, or they would have been caught.”

He was unsure why the golf club was targeted, but said it was not Unexpected given how much damage he had seen anti-Mandate Protesters do elsewhere in the country.

Daniel Tiffen, a greenskeeper at Hagley Golf Club, with one of the anti-Mandate messages sprayed in a weedkiller.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Stuff

Daniel Tiffen, a greenskeeper at Hagley Golf Club, with one of the anti-Mandate messages sprayed in a weedkiller.

“I suppose they thought this would make a permanent statement in the grass, but the only way you’d actually see it is if you were quite high up.”

Toner said while people on the ground would likely notice someone had sprayed weedkiller, but the letters were so big and faint it would be extremely hard to work out what it said.

“If you’re an Air New Zealand customer you might spot it.”

The club would not be reporting the vandalism to the police at this stage, Toner said, and people damaging the green or throwing rubbish onto the course was not uncommon.

The graffitied messages include “freedom” and “no mandates”.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Stuff

The graffitied messages include “freedom” and “no mandates”.

“We’ll just repair it and move on.”

Greenskeeper Daniel Tiffen said he informed the Christchurch City Council on Tuesday morning, who had already sent a tractor in to re-seed it.

“It’s been a blessing really, we don’t have that kind of machinery.

“We’re just a small club with a small budget.”

It would still take weeks to months for the grass to fully regrow, he said, and the club had provided the seed.

“It’s not cheap.”

Anti-Mandate protests in Christchurch, as well as other parts of the country, have been winding down.

The messages are meters long, and will take weeks to grow out in fill.

JOHN KIRK-ANDERSON / Stuff

The messages are meters long, and will take weeks to grow out in fill.

An occupation at the central city’s Cranmer Square, which began on February 14, will end this week.

Christchurch City Council told Protesters they had to vacate the site by Thursday, and one organizer told Stuff they intended to leave peacefully to avoid a situation akin to the Wellington Protest, which ended with violent clashes between Protesters and police.

The occupation was in breach of council bylaws, and nearby Residents had reported feeling intimidated, and concerned about its size.

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