CHB Mail, Tuesday, 31 August 2004

Town icon ducknapped?

†Out of Reach Services removing the Waipawa duck

The Waipawa duck was taken down on Sunday to make way for the second stage of the Waipawa main street upgrade to begin tomorrow.

A crane, a chainsaw and more than two hours later, the two metre high, 400 kg duck was eased off its perch and towed away from the main street car park to an undisclosed location.

Country Traders part owner and member of Waipawa Chamber of Commerce, April Bettelheim, organised the removal of the duck, and said it has been stored in a secret hideout to prevent anyone from damaging it.

ìI would like to thank Out of Reach Services who removed the duck in time for the main street upgrade and at no cost.

They did a tremendous job.î April said.

Ralph Crewe of Out of reach services said that he and part owner Steve walker were happy to assist the Waipawa Chamber of Commerce by moving the duck.

The removal of the duck was agreed by the Central Hawkes Bay District Council at last Thursdayís meeting, so it would not get in the way of the widening of the main street, in preparation for Waipawaís 150 year anniversary in 2010.

ìI am glad the duck has finally come on the table, hopefully to be carved up.î Said Councillor Nicollette Brasell at the meeting.

ìMost people I know certainly donít want to be known as ëthe duck peopleí so I am glad it is moving as it will not be an eyesore any more.î She said.

But eyesore it may remain, if the duck is moved to its proposed location at Nelly Jull Park, as it would be in a site with high visibility to the State Highway and if retained on its tower, the duck could be used to advertise events in Waipawa.

It was discussed the duck could also be moved to the Centrecourt courtyard where it would be adjacent to its sibling although it would need rebuilding for it to sit on ground level.

Council decided to put the duck in storage and decided on a new location.

Lowering the duck onto the truck for transportation

ìIf we put it away for a while we might be able to get the sense of loss for the duck.î Said Councillor Harding.

Others argued the duck is often used as a landmark or a significant signposting object used by businesses, and is an icon for Waipawa.

Waipawa Chamber of Commerce, who own the duck, say they would like to see the duck moved to Nellie Jull Park.

Chairman Stephen Jenkinsonís submission to the council about the relocation of the duck read: ìOur preference is to relocate The Duck keeping its main road appeal and we feel the proposed northern bus stop entrance to Nelly Jull Park would provide a suitable locationî.

The infamous duck was labelled ìthe most offensive ornament in New Zealandî as part of a Radio Pacific nation poll conducted in October last year.

The duck was created by Jan Gosling to promote the annual duck races.

This years duck race is on October 2.

What should be done with the duck? Let us know what you think.