West Auckland landslide slowly creeping into Whau River


Whau River Catchment Trust chairman Gilbert Brakey is concerned about the large amount of soil slowly creeping into the ...


Whau River Catchment Trust chairman Gilbert Brakey is concerned about the large amount of soil slowly creeping into the river.

Work to fix a two-year-old slip in West Auckland is on hold until the land stabilises.

A massive landslide behind some businesses on Rosebank Rd, Avondale is at least 150m long and has closed a section of the Kurt Brehmer Walkway along the Whau River bank.

Trees have been uprooted in the wake of the slip and a kauri is on a precarious lean.

A landslip in Avondale has become dangerous forcing the council to close a section of the Kurt Brehmer Walkway.

A stormwater pipe has been damaged spewing water into the earth instead of into the river and a Vector power cable was also broken.

Auckland Council says the cost of repairing the damage is extremely high and because of this they do not currently have plans for remedial works.

Instead, the council will wait until the site stabilises before taking action to find a permanent stormwater solution.

“It is expected the slip will eventually balance out, however due to the scale and size of the slip, it could be several years before this happens,” local and sports parks manager for the west Grant Jennings says.

Vector is in the process of cleaning up the mess left by the damaged cable.

Jennings speculates that the stormwater pipe was initially damaged when the land first started to move in September 2013.

“A temporary flexible storm pipe will be installed once Vector is finished on site. Once the slip has settled a permanent stormwater solution will be undertaken,” Jennings says.

Chairman Gilbert Brakey wants the area to be safe to reopen the walkway.

The organisation is in the process of gaining funding to plant out the area and help stabilise the bank to prevent future slips.

The council has fenced off the walkway at both ends of the landslide deeming it too dangerous for the public to use.

A large amount of soil is still slipping into the river which could have a devastating environmental impact, Brakey says.

Jennings says their geotechnical engineers were unable to conclusively determine why it happened.

“The soil in the park has poor structural integrity and the close tidal waters of the river may be contributors to the instability”

Engineers are monitoring the site every six months.

 – Stuff

Clovelly Road slip


The discovery of more cliff movement at Bucklands Beach in east Auckland, has prompted the Manukau City Council to warn people to stay away because of the danger.

The council issued the warning for foreshore area of Eastern Beach, after land movement at 116 Clovelly Road caused an extension to separate from the main building.

Clovelly Rd first made the news last September, when former Manukau mayor Sir Barry Curtis said he had lost his home because of the volatile landslip.

Residents of five homes on three sections of land were evacuated due to the severe land subsidence towards a cliff face.

This week, preliminary observations showed the lawn area at 116 had dropped more than a metre since Monday. The driveway had also cracked and dropped along the fault line.

Police have secured the area, and there are major concerns about people taking photos from the beach front, within the danger zone.

Carole Todd, group manager environmental operations, said the partial building collapse, along with the increased land movement, showed there was still significant danger.

“It’s important that people stay away from the foreshore area of Eastern Beach. People wandering in this area put their lives at risk,” Ms Todd said.

“Boaties should also stay away from the area – this is not a safe place to be, there is too much uncertainty around when this might fall.

“That there has been this type of movement in the past few days could indicate that we might be seeing some major land slip to the beach.

“Our geo-technical advisers will be inspecting the area soon and this will give us a better indication of what the land movement is and how it might affect these properties.

“I cannot emphasise enough that people must stay away. We have engaged security staff, there are signs on the foreshore and on the fence – it’s imperative that people pay heed.”

This is not the first time cracks have appeared on properties in Clovelly Road.

New cracks were observed in September 2008 in rocks toward the foreshore area below 116 and 118 Clovelly Road. Residents from 114 to 120 Clovelly Rd as well as seaward units at 122 and 124 were evacuated after geotechnical advisers said that when the cliff face did fall, the slip could come close to these dwellings.

Parts of the ground had slumped about two metres, with some trees fallen part-way down the cliff, and one to the foreshore.


Landslide in Lower Hutt suburban street a ‘huge disaster’


A landslide which slammed into a garage and left at least one Lower Hutt house on the brink of slipping away has been described by the city’s mayor as a “huge disaster”.

Four houses in suburban Kelson were evacuated last night after one slid down a hill, threatening the three others.

Hutt City mayor David Ogden visited the site this morning and said it was a “huge disaster for the people here”.

“When you get this amount of rain, you’re going to get land movement,” he said.

One of the homeowners, Peter Pritchard, said a neighbour saw a small slip at about 8pm and banged on their door.

“We went out to look on the backyard and saw a large piece of land go,” he said.

He and his wife, son-in-law and three grandchildren are now staying with neighbours and friends in the meantime.

“There is not much we can do except wait.

“We can’t think much about it now and I don’t think we’ll realise for a while just what’s happening. The question is, where is it going to finish?”

Mr Pritchard has lived in the house for 40 years and said he had lost a third of his land and most of his backyard into the gully.

“It’s like something you’d see in the movies.”

Resident Jill Adcock, who lives three houses down from Mr Pritchard, was one of many to look at the scene this morning.

“It’s pretty frightening. I just wanted to see if my house was in danger.”

Acting Senior Sergeant Eric Tibbott said police were alerted to the slip about 8.30pm after a day of steady rain.

The evacuated houses were all in Vista Grove which along with neighbouring Levin Grove, had been cordoned off and were accessible only to residents, Mr Tibbott said.

Many of the houses in the area were built into the bedrock, and backfill near the affected homes was believed to have moved as a result of the rain.

On July 21, Hutt City Council emergency response team evacuated about 30 people in the seaside suburb of Eastbourne after a landslip caused an unoccupied house to shift about 1.5m from its foundations.

– additional reporting: NZPA, NEWSTALK ZB