11 Sep 2008

Slips keep residents in limbo

8:10 am on 11 September 2008

Two communities affected by slips in Manukau City say they are in limbo until the land gives way or the council takes action.

A landslide at Bucklands Beach worsened on Tuesday. More cracks appeared on a cliff face and in back gardens at Bucklands Beach where nine houses are under threat.

The houses in Clovelly Road are cordoned off, and security guards are patrolling the foreshore.

But Richard Rice, one of the evacuated residents, says his property appears unaffected and he wants to move back in.

Manukau City Council says it is waiting for nature to take its course.

In Kawakawa Bay, about 40 kilometres to the south, a slip has resulted in one property being condemned and left another six houses in danger.

A public meeting there on Wednesday night was told it could be three weeks before a road into the township can reopen, and even then, only a single lane will open.

Manukau city council economic director Rick Walden says the road will be reopened when geotechnical experts advise the landslip is stable enough, and that will depend on the weather.

He says the council appreciates locals are frustrated, but to open the road or let people back into their homes too soon could endanger lives.

Mr Walden says the slip at Bucklands Beach is the most precarious and the council must act with caution.

Mr Walden says residents in the least affected houses will be allowed back once the risk is deemed to be not high.