Treehut ‘maimai’ facing demolition
A Queenstown man’s island getaway has been threatened with demolition if he doesn’t get consent.
Glenn Raymond ran into trouble with authorities for construction of a treehouse on an island in Lake Wakatipu after rumours of its existence circulated among locals and Land Information New Zealand (Linz) became aware of it.
Raymond said it was ‘‘just a bit of good old Kiwi fun’’ and tagged it as a maimai 10 days ago to get around it being on Crown Land.
In a statement last week, Linz Crown Property Group manager John Hook said Raymond did not have permission to build on Crown Land.
‘‘We understand hunters are required to obtain consent of the land manager before erecting a maimai on public land, the same applies to private land. We haven’t received any application from Mr Raymond.
‘‘Mr Raymond can apply to the Commissioner of Crown Lands for approval of the structure.’’
If he did apply, health and safety risks would be considered as part of the approval, Hook said.
A Linz spokeswoman believed if Raymond did not get the treehouse consented, it would be demolished at his cost.
Raymond was not prepared to comment on the process last week preferring to liaise directly with Linz.
Asked about the potentially hundreds of other maimais on Crown Land around New Zealand, Hook said: ‘‘If we are made aware of other illegal structures on Linz-managed land, we will investigate.’’
Fish and Game Otago operations manager Ian Hadland said there were likely other structures similar to Raymond’s on Crown Land used for duck shooting on lakes and rivers in the region that were unauthorised but which Linz did not follow up on.
Queenstown lawyer Graeme Todd said without looking into it further, if Raymond was not granted consent and was asked to remove it, then he would likely have to.
Raymond decided to build the treehouse from wooden pallets and using about $1000 of his own money after he saw the island from the roof of the nearby Hilton hotel while working there. He felt it would be the perfect spot for he and his two young children to relax, take photos and fish.
Glenn Raymond with treehouse he built on an island in Lake Wakatipu.