The trucking company that ploughed a house through Whangārei's lift bridge and cut down road signs to ease passage along the coast has continued its rampage, tearing down power lines and taking a chainsaw to coastal pōhutukawa.
It ended its journey yesterday at McLeod Bay at Whangārei Heads with investigations under way by police, the Whangārei District Council and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency.
Truck driver and Highway Housemovers owner Mick Daly refused to comment when approached yesterday. On Thursday, Daly admitted he was responsible for some damage along the route.
Northpower public affairs manager Steve Macmillan said a truck carrying a house came into contact with powerlines on the corner of Ritchie Rd and Whangārei Heads Rd, seeing 16 customers lose power from 6.50am to 11am.
While he couldn't confirm it was Daly's truck, Northland police acting senior sergeant Ryan Gray said officers spoke to Daly about the house hitting powerlines, causing the lines to hang just two metres off the ground.
Officers also visited the truck when it allegedly hit a telephone pole just after midnight.
"The damage caused is clearly not what the community expect of this type of business," Gray said.
"Northland police are investigating and would like to hear from property owners who have received damage over the last two nights between Whangārei and Whangārei Heads."
Police had stopped the truck carrying the house early on Thursday. It was found parked at the Parua Bay community centre later that morning.
When darkness fell, it was off again along the coast. As the truck moved its way down Whangārei Heads Rd, residents reported hearing chainsaws late on Thursday night and into Friday morning as the truck travelled to McLeod Bay.
There, at least two trees appeared to have been deliberately cut down while others appeared to have been broken by the house coming into contact with branches.
"[It] makes me feel bloody sick," Stuart Rd resident Sandra Dempsey said.
"We look after them, everybody looks after the trees and they are protected by the council."
Dempsey, who lived very close to the house site on Stuart Rd, said she was woken just after midnight yesterday by chainsaws. She believed the company should pay for the damage they'd done.
A Stuart Rd resident, who would only be named as "Tony", said he was woken about 10.30pm by the housemovers, who asked if his cars could be moved before the house came through.
Tony's cars were parked on the street after he had laid new concrete on his driveway on Tuesday, which couldn't be driven on for a week.
Tony obliged, but was then woken again about 1.30am - this time by the sounds of the truck's wheel on his driveway and workers tossing aside the boxing around it.
"[There was] no asking, no communication at all," he said. "We can't drive on it for a week and they've got this house truck going on it ... so I wasn't impressed."
While he believed there was no lasting damage to his driveway, Tony thought the company's actions were pretty poor, classing them as a "bunch of cowboys".
Stuart Rd resident Jack Mortimore, 90, was not opposed to pruning the trees but objected to them being cut down entirely. "I love them, they are beautiful trees."
Similar damage was reported from the first night's track along the coast. Tamaterau Beach resident Lin Metcalf said she was woken about 1am on Thursday by the noise of the truck.
Metcalf said she was confronted by the sight of a house on a truck with its passage blocked by pōhutukawa trees - and men with chainsaws preparing to clear a path.
"They were chainsawing pōhutukawa - anything that was in their way. They got the chainsaws out and they were going for it. The house was way too big. It was never going to fit."
Council spokeswoman Ann Midson said an investigation was under way and an infringement notice and fine would likely be issued to Highway Housemovers.
"These trees are taonga, the community treasures them, we plant them and protect them for our community. We treasure them, this is a sickening sight."
The apparent landowner of the house's intended destination did not want to comment.