16 Aug 2013

Erosion leaves house hanging over cliff

8:28 pm on 16 August 2013

A holiday home in the South Waikato town of Mokau is teetering over the edge of a sand cliff after being eroded by high tides and wind.

The Waitomo District Council says it is doing emergency work to the end of Beach Road to maintain access to the property so the house and another can be removed.

A holiday home at Mokau that has to be removed.

A holiday home at Mokau that has to be removed. Photo: RNZ

Council roading manager Gerri Waterkamp says a rock wall is being built at low tide, which will protect the end of the road.

She says sand beneath the house collapsed after a combination of high tides and wind affected it about three weeks ago.

The beachfront area, along from the Mokau River mouth, is in what the council calls a "managed retreat".

Several houses have been demolished because of erosion and five years ago residents had boulders illegally placed on the beach to protect their properties.

Ray Christiansen, who lives two doors away from those being removed, says he lost a small part of grass on his section in the same weather that undermined the house now in trouble.

But he says the erosion used to be far worse before residents paid for boulders to be placed along the beach about five years ago.

"The rocks are holding the erosion back," he says.

"Sure, we've lost just a little bit off our section but it (the tide) was coming into the end of the road there in a real big way."