Taxpayers to fund tree hut chop

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Taxpayers will likely have to stump up for the removal of a tree hut on a Lake Wakatipu willow island.

Local man Glenn Raymond built the hut to enjoy with his children and friends last summer.

It is hidden in trees in the lake’s Frankton Arm, near the Kawarau Falls bridge.

But he has twice ignored government orders to remove it after consent was refused in August.

Crown Property (Land Information New Zealand) deputy chief executive Jerome Sheppard says: ”Following unsuccessful efforts to contact Mr Raymond, who now reportedly appears to have left the country, Linz plans to move ahead with removing the hut.”

It is understood that will cost the taxpayer about $10,000.

Raymond tried and failed to ”legalise” the tree hut as a mai mai, applying to Linz for a licence to occupy Crown land.

It was declined on the grounds the island was a likely nesting site for protected bird species.

Mountain Scene was unable to contact Raymond, who is now understood to be in Australia.