Hazard lights for low tree branch

KATIE CHAPMAN
Last updated 05:00 14/06/2014
pohutukawa branch
CAMERON BURNELL/ Fairfax NZ
MIND YOUR HEAD: The pohutukawa branch hanging over Waterloo Quay. The council says it can’t be pruned, in case that kills the heritage-listed tree, so one solution might be to put reflector lights on it. 

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It's the special branch that is leaving some people stumped.

The owners of NZ Post House in Wellington's Waterloo Quay have been told they cannot prune an old pohutukawa branch that hangs across the footpath, despite it being considered a hazard to tall pedestrians.

Instead, the company says Wellington City Council has suggested it put reflector lights on the branch.

Dave Fraser, chief financial officer of Argosy Property, said the company was alerted that the tree - one of three heritage pohutukawa on the corner - posed a hazard because of the overhanging branch. It was possible for people taller than 6ft to hit their heads on it.

However, the heritage status meant Argosy was denied permission by the council to remove the branch, in case it killed the tree.

There are more than 160 heritage-listed trees in Wellington, and under council rules branches can be removed only if they are dead or touching other buildings, structures or overhead wires. Any other change requires resource consent.

The council was "very, very sensitive" to the heritage concerns, and one of its suggested solutions was to put reflector lights on the branch, Fraser said.

He suggested that, if the branch could be pruned without killing the tree, that would be a better solution.

Council spokesman Clayton Anderson said the council was not aware of a suggestion to put reflectors on the branch, but was working with the company to come up with a solution.

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- The Dominion Post

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