MURUPARA, N.Z.–A small town here is out of cash and it may remain that way after a local credit union’s ATM was stolen for a second time.
Residents and business owners are now fretting over what the lack of access to cash will mean to them.
The thieves used a stolen log loader to rip from the wall an ATM belonging to NZCU. The machine was found dumped eight kilometers away unopened. It was the second time the only ATM in the small town of Murapara, located in what’s known as the Bay of Plenty, has been hit. In the earlier attempt, thieves took to it with a grinder.
"It brasses you off, especially for a little town like this," resident Pauline Teddy told Newshub.
"We were really disappointed," local kaumātua James Goldsmith told Newshub. "It's all about poverty, drugs here."
According to Newshub, the credit union’s branch is already cashless due to safety concerns. Local shop owners told the publication they have been helping where they can by providing small sums of cash.
The nearest financial institution to Murupara is 62 kilometers away in Rotorua, a difficult commute for many in the community who don’t have cars, according to the report.
Two banks that had had branches in the town have since left.
The credit union told Newshub it's looking at whether it's viable to replace the ATM again, and it, too, is also considering whether to close.