Though ongoing vandalism may have led to Ngapotiki Lodge on the south coast currently being demolished, it seems as if the rushed process is causing environmental problems of its own.
Insulation batts and other building materials have been strewn around the area surrounding the hut near Cape Palliser after the deerstalkers began taking the building apart.
The Department of Conservation and the Wairarapa branch of the New Zealand Deerstalkers Association had an agreement to jointly manage the hut, but decided recently that ongoing vandalism meant they no longer wanted to be responsible for it and it would be too costly to repair.
Despite appeals from surfing groups to retain the hut and their offers to help restore it, DOC and the deerstalkers association have started demolition - with messy results. On the weekend of June 2 and 3 volunteers turned up to rip the roof off and take some cladding. A group of surfers were in the area and photographed the mess after they had left. Fibreglass insulation littered the site and pieces were stuck in trees and bushes around the area.
Alex Long of the Wellington Boardriders Club says the messy demolition is more evidence of DOC and the deerstalkers rushing to remove the hut and not doing the job very well.
"When the media became involved DOC actually sped up. We ruffled their feathers and they sped up the process and a bunch of guys from deerstalkers went in there and ripped the roof off and obviously did a substandard job and what's happened is there are Pink Batts everywhere and other construction materials," he says.
"We are a little disappointed in, A, the lack of consultation initially with the decision (to remove the hut) and, B, the way they've gone about this process in removing it.
"Maybe if they had taken a little more time then it wouldn't be in such a state as you can see in the photos right now."
Duncan Simpson of the Wairarapa Branch of the Deerstalkers Association says they left the Pink Batts secured under heavy objects beneath the structure before they left the area but the material must have escaped somehow. He gave assurances that their volunteers would be heading back to the hut soon to continue the demolition and clean up the mess.
He says it is all very well for the surfers to take photos and spread them around on the Internet but it might have been nice if, when they saw the mess, they might have made an effort to resecure the insulation instead of just leaving and doing nothing.
"It's on DOC land, we all own it, we've all got a stake in it," he says.
- Wairarapa News