Christmas tree change afoot

Wanaka Community Board chairman Lyal Cocks and self-described "Christmas fairy" Jen Anderson in front of Wanaka's "Christmas tree", which has been targeted for felling. Photo by Mark Price.
Wanaka Community Board chairman Lyal Cocks and self-described "Christmas fairy" Jen Anderson in front of Wanaka's "Christmas tree", which has been targeted for felling. Photo by Mark Price.
The Christmas tree in Wanaka's main street seems destined for the chop.

At a meeting of the Wanaka Community Board yesterday, chairman Lyall Cocks described the evergreen tree, of undetermined species, as an "eyesore".

He said it of blocked a "Wow" view of Lake Wanaka for those heading down Ardmore St from the east.

The board was considering the tree's removal as part of the upgrade of Upper Ardmore St and improvements to the Lake Wanaka foreshore area.

Queenstown Lakes District Council "Christmas fairy" Jen Anderson also supports removing the tree. Ms Anderson, who is employed by the council to put up Wanaka's Christmas decorations, yesterday agreed the view to the lake would be better if the tree was gone.

She pointed out that during the years the tree had been decorated, late-night tree climbers had typically knocked the star off the top and replaced it with a road cone.

This Christmas, the star would be fitted as usual but instead of the tree being decorated, it would be lit up from the ground.

Next year, Wanaka would inherit an artificial Christmas tree from Queenstown, which was in line for a new "tree" made from skis, she said.

The community board has resolved to include the felling of the Wanaka Christmas tree in next year's annual plan.

mark.price@odt.co.nz