SHARE

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Alexandra resident Linda Walker is “absolutely gutted” after a plant was “butchered” on the street in front of her house, exposing the concrete wall it once covered.

“I’m absolutely gutted, I really am,” she said, on Thursday morning, last week.

The plant, a Virginia creeper, which covered the length of a retaining wall along Centennial Ave, was cut back by Central Otago District Council (CODC) contractors on Wednesday.

“When I realised what was happening .. it was far too late [to save it].”

She asked the contractors what they were doing, but Ms Walker appreciated they were only probably doing what the council would have instructed them to do.

In just a few week’s time, the plant would have started turning to its autumn tone of bright red, a sight Ms Walker always admires from her home.

The issue of how it was maintained was one she raised with the council two years ago when the plant was cut back in the same fashion.

She took her complaint back to the council last week.

“I said, ‘I had assurances it wouldn’t happen again’.

“It has taken two years to recover from last time, then they butchered it [again].

What could have been . . . The Virginia creeper plant, overhanging the retaining wall in autumn four years ago, was on the verge of the same display until it was cut back by contractors last week. PHOTO: SUPPLIED/LINDA WALKER

“Just as it was about to come into colour, along they come and destroy it.

“Who wants to look at this,” she said, of the concrete brick wall.

“I know it serves a purpose and very useful purpose.”

However, the plant was nicer to look at than the concrete, she said.

“It only needed trimming.

“It hid the concrete wall. That is what is so frustrating. I cannot understand why they would do it.”

She said the council explained that its reason for cutting the plant two years ago was because it was encroaching on the road.

This time, that was not the case, she said.

And, even if it was, she did not believe the plant needed to be cut the entire height of the wall.

CODC parks and recreation manager Gordon Bailey said the plant was cut back last week because it was encroaching on the road and nearby drainage channel.

However, he agreed that it did not need to be cut as far back as it had been.

“I agree, it should cover the wall, but not the road. Our intention is to reinforce this [message] with our contractor,” he said.

“This was a communications breakdown due to contractor staff changes.”