Down she goes: tree hut felled



An irked Queenstown landowner has taken a chainsaw to a tree containing a sly tree house.

Sixth-generation South Islander Peter Clark cut down the wilding pine last Saturday morning – bringing the substantial tree house to the ground.

“We dropped the thing in one piece. It was really spectacular. It disintegrated,” Clark says.

“If you’d heard the crash, when that thing went down the cliff and shattered into a million pieces, it was one hell of a noise.”

When Aussie carpenter who built the Arawata Bridle Track tree hut – last month, he said he was living in it. The 20-year-old didn’t want to give his surname but said he didn’t think the landowner would mind.

But Clark, 62, a former firefighter, was furious at his cheek. He wanted police to intervene but they said no crime had been committed.

Instead, Clark’s two sons, both in their 20s, came down from Christchurch to help with the ‘eviction’.

Both went up into the tree house.

“It looks like the Aussie bludger was still living there,” Clark says. Inside he found an air rifle, eggs, butter and other food, a gas cooker, couch, chilly bins, “obviously lots of beer” and a pipe.

“And condoms. I’m not sure how many girlfriends he’s had up there.”

He took some of the items home for safe-keeping and invites Andy to come round and pick them up.

“Let that be a lesson to these people that just come here and use us and abuse us, like the freedom campers.

“We’ve found other people on the land.

“They just come and set up house thinking ‘who gives a shit?’ Well, we do, that’s who.”