Rocky, finally on the move!
A giant rock living uninvited inside a Heathcote house for more than two years has found a new home.
The 15-tonne boulder known as Rocky crashed into the house during the February 2011 quake.
Rocky was sold to NZSki in March 2011, raising more than $60,000 for Canterbury’s earthquake recovery, but had remained stuck in the house until demolition work started yesterday.
Mt Hutt Ski Area manager James McKenzie said NZSki, which owned the ski area near Methven, bought Rocky because ‘‘it seemed like good value at the time’’.
NZSki paid $50,000 for the rock, while a woman in Pukekohe donated just over $10,000.
Rocky’s new owners waited more than two years for permission from the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority to move it.
‘‘I guess the time it’s taken to get to this point is probably reasonably representative of some of the delays everyone else [in Christchurch] is experiencing,’’ McKenzie said.
‘‘It does show that even a simple rock can have a lot of complexities around it.’’
Bystanders clapped and cheered as Rocky emerged from the partially demolished house yesterday.
Homeowner Phil Johnson did not realise how popular Rocky would become when he put it up for auction.
‘‘He’s got quite a following now.’’
Once freed from the house, the boulder was loaded onto a truck to begin a two-day ‘‘road trip’’ through Christchurch and on to Methven, where it stayed at the Blue Pub overnight. It would head to its final resting place on the snow at Mt Hutt Ski Area today, weather permitting.
Once on the mountain, Rocky would be decorated with a plaque stating details of the earthquake that moved it and a ‘‘nice little poem’’, McKenzie said.
Rocky would officially be welcomed onto the mountain when the ski area celebrated its 40th anniversary on August 3.
- The Press
- Nicole Mathewson email@example.com
- Photo: Dean Kozanic/Fairfax NZ