Going home to Goose Bay

7:17 pm on 9 December 2016

More residents in Goose Bay south of Kaikōura have been told they are allowed to return home today, but eight properties still remain off limits.

Goose Bay, Kaikōura.

Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

The settlement was evacuated two weeks ago after debris from the magnitude 7.8 earthquake blocked a stream, creating a dam above the bay which authorities feared could breach and flood the houses below.

The Kaikōura District Council says residents of 12 houses were allowed to return home last week, and following further research by GNS scientists eight more properties can be reoccupied from today.

But the council says further work needs to be done to ensure the safety of another eight properties and the local campground before they can be reoccupied.

Goose Bay

Map showing Goose Bay in red. Photo: Google Maps

Kaikōura District mayor Winston Gray said the council had a responsibility to make sure anyone staying in the area was safe.

Resident Paul Keung initially thought the evacuation was an overreaction but later apologised.

He said it was a huge relief to learn he could return to his farming business.

"We've been told that while the flood risk still impedes on our property, our three huses are now above that required level, including our cattle yard.

"We didn't know what we were going to achieve this year in terms of farming, now we've been given the green light."