Mystery of the Courtenay Place cordon tree remains unsolved
No-one is allowed behind the tall cordon fence that has enveloped Wellington's Courtenay Place party zone in the months since the Kaikoura earthquake.
Quake damage to the neighbouring Reading car park forced the closure of bars and homes, and a fence – complete with security guards – has kept the public out until the car park is demolished.
So exactly how a large tree branch got over the metres-high fence and beyond the cordon some time in the weeks after the November 14 quake, remaining there ever since, is a mystery to passersby and authorities.
There was an attempt to remove the branch, but it became apparent that traffic would have to be diverted to get it out, car park demolition site manager Phil Becker said.
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"The guys had a couple chops at it early on, but they realised it was too big for them to deal with. We're hoping to get that strip cleaned up at some stage today [Wednesday] as it's starting to look pretty rough."
So they will probably leave the branch there until the car park is torn down, which may not be until March.
But the mystery as to how it got there remains. Becker believes it may have been put there after the area was cordoned off, but before the fences were extended to the kerb's edge.
A clue might lie in the city's Christmas tree, which was erected across the road from the mystery branch.
It had to be displayed on top of a tall box and monitored by a security guard because Courtenay Place's enterprising drunks could not be trusted around it.