Island overstayer: Glenn Raymond with the island tree hut he's been ordered to dismantle

A Queenstowner who built a tree hut on a Lake Wakatipu willow island has twice ignored government department orders to remove it – and has apparently left for Australia.

Mountain Scene reported that Glenn Raymond built the hut, hidden by dense trees, for his kids’ and friends’ summer enjoyment.

“I’m just a boy building a tree house out in an island [off the Frankton foreshore] having fun – what a lot of people would like to do,” he said at the time.

Raymond, who also tried to ‘legalise’ it as a maimai, applied to Land Information New Zealand for a licence to occupy Crown land.

In August, however, local LINZ agent Rose Quirk informed him the Commissioner of Crown Lands had declined his application.

“The site is a likely nesting site for a protected bird and there are safety concerns that have been raised by [Queenstown’s] harbourmaster,” she wrote.

“LINZ and Department of Conservation are also concerned about the degradation the hut would cause to the scenic values of the site for other recreational users and potential waste management issues.”

Raymond was ordered to remove the hut within two-and-a-half weeks – though he was also given the right to apply for a rehearing.

Acting Commissioner of Crown Lands Craig Harris then wrote to Raymond on October 2, advising him he’d not been authorised to use or occupy the land, and warning him to leave the land and remove all structures within two weeks.

Raymond’s NZ cellphone was out of service when Mountain Scene rang it yesterday.