23 Dec 2011

Some householders now allowed back

9:58 pm on 23 December 2011

Almost half the people evacuated from houses on the Tahunanui slopes above Rocks Road in Nelson last weekend, are being allowed back into their homes.

Thirty families in Rocks Road and Grenville Terrace were told to leave their homes on Sunday due to fears the hillside could still give way.

However, geotechnical engineers now say there has been no perceptible movement and 14 of the houses are safe to return to.

Parts of the hillside are still regarded as risky and five houses still have red-stickers.

One of the returning residents, Kelly Atkinson, was shocked by the size of the slip.

She says it was a sobering sight to see a walkway that she had used nearly every day for 15 years obliterated by a landslide.

They are among 38 that are deemed as unsafe; mostly in Nelson, but some in the Tasman district.

Civil Defence controller Jim Frater says, without the lessons learned from the Canterbury earthquakes, it would have taken a week longer to get some residents hit by flooding back in to their homes.