Bra fence reboosted after thefts

A motorist takes a photograph of the controversial bra fence in the Cardrona Valley. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson
A motorist takes a photograph of the controversial bra fence in the Cardrona Valley. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson
Like a phoenix from the ashes, the controversial Cardrona bra fence is rising once more.

Two weeks after being stripped bare by an unknown offender, the fence is fast filling up again thanks to passing motorists, visitors to the village and fence founder John Lee, who, so the story goes, gets bag-loads of bras posted to him from women worldwide.

The fence has long been a source of contention in the valley, with opinions divided on whether it should stay or go.

Ask around as to the identity of the unidentified underwear thief who has repeatedly removed hundreds of bras since the fence was revived early last year, and the answers are vague.

Cardrona developer Kathy Brooke-Lynne said she thought everyone knew who it was but no-one was game enough to say.

Sean Colbourne and Kelly Spaans, whose horse-trek and quad-bike tour business borders the fence, say they do not know who is responsible, or at least ''not conclusively''.

''I want to catch him red-handed. Or her, of course,'' Ms Spaans said.

''Someone coming in in the middle of the night with scissors in the valley's a bit weird isn't it?''Valley resident Issi Anderson considered the fence an eyesore and a traffic hazard, having witnessed some ''horrendous near-misses'' between cars and curious tourists when she lived opposite the original fence years ago.

''I'd like to see it gone for good.''

Asked if she was behind the bra thefts, Ms Anderson said: ''No I've got more things to do than that.''

''I thought the council had done it. Because there'd been so much in the papers and I was thinking at least they've waded in and done something about it.''

Queenstown Lakes District Council communications manager Michele Poole was quick to scotch that theory.

''Absolutely not. QLDC had nothing to do with it,'' Ms Poole told the Otago Daily Times.

Cardrona Valley Residents and Ratepayers Society chairman Barrie Morgan said he ''wouldn't have a clue'' who was responsible, but agreed the fence was a highway hazard.

He had to be ''on the fence'',

about whether it should be removed, as he had to ''act in the best interests of the community'' in his chairman's role.

However, he believed more residents were against it than for it.

Ms Anderson said her grandmother, who was in her 80s and lived in the valley, was not impressed by the fence, either.

''She's definitely the old school thought that you don't hang your underwear on the fence for everyone to perv at,'' Ms Anderson.

Despite the mixed reviews, Mr Colbourne's sons Jack (12) and Tom (10) tied dozens more donated bras to the fence yesterday, courtesy of Mr Lee's vast collection.

How long the latest additions last is anyone's guess, but if there is another roadside raid on the fence?''It'll be back for sure,'' Ms Spaans said.

lucy.ibbotson@odt.co.nz