Hundreds of bras from Cardrona's famous bra fence were in the possession of the police last night and others have been burned, after a daring daylight raid by local resident Natasha Anderson.

The fence, decorated with discarded bras since 1999, has become something of a local landmark. But while the hundreds of undergarments made it a popular tourist attraction, the fence also drew complaints that it was offensive and a distraction for drivers.

Miss Anderson was seen removing the bras with a pair of scissors yesterday by members of the public, who alerted fence owner John Lee. He called the police.

Mr Lee said Miss Anderson had not been in touch with him directly about her opposition to the fence but he understood her family was "hot and strong against it".

She said she felt the bra fence had "passed its use-by date" and was a traffic hazard.

Constable Emma Fleming said about half the 800 bras had been removed by the time she got there. Miss Anderson and Mr Lee had been interviewed and last night police had yet to make a decision how to resolve the matter. However, charges were unlikely.

Miss Anderson said she was at the bra fence for about 3 1/2 hours. She was careful not to damage the fence and only to cut the bras.

After 2 1/2 hours her scissors broke so she went away to get another pair and later burned some of the bras.

"I had to stop because the police came," she said.

But she was surprised it had become a police matter. "I didn't see the point in wearing a balaclava and sneaking out in the middle of the night."

Miss Anderson said she had also removed men's underwear, socks and tampons from the fence.

The attack on the bra fence came a day after the Queenstown Lakes District Council's property subcommittee decided to approve Mr Lee's application for the fence to occupy a road reserve, on the condition the fence looked like a farm fence and all the bras were removed.

The subcommittee said the bra fence was "not visually appealing and there were traffic hazards relating to the display of bras".