Nearly a week after Tauranga teacher Sophie Hucker came home to a pole cemented into her driveway, the whodunnit has been solved.
Hucker returned to her Ōtūmoetai home from work last Tuesday to a square, metal pole, more than two metres tall, in front of her garage.
The Bay of Plenty Times reported she checked with a neighbour and the council, to no avail, and posted on local social media, where people were as eager for answers as she was.
Before the Mount Maunganui College teacher left for work the next day, she left a note with her phone number on the pole. It said: “I have no idea what this is doing here - please call me!”
She ruled out theories such as it being a “random gift”, an expensive prank, or a sign she should just get a carport, but concluded the most likely answer was that “some tradies made a big stuff-up”.
Turns out, she was right.
Today she told the Bay of Plenty Times a local company had come forward to admit its mistake.
She said someone from the company left a message “taking ownership” of the error and asking for her to call back.
Hucker said she learned the pole was meant to be part of a gate being installed at another property on her street.
“I didn’t ask for all the details and I’m not sure exactly how this happened but people are only human and mistakes do happen,” she said.
She understood the company had come forward after seeing media coverage of the story.
“I don’t feel any ill-feeling towards the worker or company responsible for this muddle.”
Hucker said the pole was removed by the time she returned home about 4pm yesterday and the area where the pole had been erected had been re-concreted.
She said the company had promised to come back to water blast the concrete to make it look better.
Hucker declined to name the company or give details about it because she did not want to “ruin their reputation”.
She said it had been a bit annoying to have to manoeuvre around the pole, but the mystery had given many people a chuckle, including herself, and she was taking the mistake in that spirit.
Taking to the Facebook community group where she made her original post tonight, she said she never thought the story “would blow up like it has”.
She said the company involved was “laughing about it after seeing it on the news before they realised it was their bad”.
She said it had given her some bubbles and was “very aPOLEgetic”.
Hucker said the patch in her driveway would be “a reminder of my 15 minutes”.
“What a ride that was.”
Sandra Conchie is a senior journalist at the Bay of Plenty Times and the Rotorua Daily Post who has been a journalist for 24 years. She mainly covers police, court and other justice stories, as well as general news. She has been a Canon Media Awards regional/community reporter of the year.