Mystery of the Courtenay Place cordon tree remains unsolved

No-one appears to know how the mystery tree or branch ended up behind earthquake cordon lines in Courtenay Place.
MONIQUE FORD/ FAIRFAX NZ

No-one appears to know how the mystery tree or branch ended up behind earthquake cordon lines in Courtenay Place.

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.

The branch has probably been there since just after the quake, and is likely to stay there until the cordon comes down ...
MONIQUE FORD/FAIRFAX NZ

The branch has probably been there since just after the quake, and is likely to stay there until the cordon comes down in March.

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.

READ MORE:
* Quake-affected Courtenay Place bars optimistic as carpark demolition continues

Tory St cordon extended for demolition job
Cars, a potted pine, and overdue birthday present retrieved from inside quake cordons
Owners of 80 Wellington CBD buildings ordered to do more invasive testing
Wellington granted powers to force landlords to assess buildings and share results

"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.

Ad Feedback

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers