29 Jan 2023

Wild weather: Home collapses as landslide shifts Tauranga house to road

9:42 am on 29 January 2023

First published on NZ Herald

A house has collapsed on Egret Ave, Tauranga.

A house has collapsed on Egret Ave, Tauranga. Photo: NZ Herald

A home has collapsed in Tauranga and residents have been evacuated after heavy rain hit the Bay of Plenty overnight.

Emergency services have been at the scene of the destroyed home on Egret Avenue in the Tauranga suburb of Maungatapu overnight.

"The entire end of that street was covered by a landslide," a witness told the Herald early on Sunday morning. "The house was pretty much in the middle of the road. There was probably about 10-plus police cars, four fire trucks, three ambulances and multiple people on the street."

They said the road was closed and homes were being evacuated.

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Fire and Emergency shift manager Paul Redden said when they received the call there were still people inside one of the affected properties.

Two other houses had been affected, Redden said. "That's the information that I have and we still have a crew in attendance that will be liaising with council to assess the property. I am aware at the time of the call there were still people in one of the houses. There were still occupants inside but upon our arrival ... they were instructed to get out of the house immediately, which they did do upon our arrival."

Initially, four trucks with 16 crew were sent to the scene.

Police said no one was seriously injured.

Tauranga City Council said they were aware of the incident and residents were evacuated and an area was cordoned off by police.

"Our building inspectors will be onsite later this morning to evaluate the damage, and we will provide updates when we have more information.

"Our thoughts are with the community and affected residents on Egret Avenue. Residents should follow the advice of Bay of Plenty Civil Defence and the New Zealand Police, and keep up to date with the latest weather information on the MetService New Zealand website."

Meanwhile, there are a number of road closures in the Bay of Plenty after the heavy rain overnight.

State highway 29 at Lower Kaimai has been closed after suffering multiple slips.

The highway connects Tauranga to the Waikato over the Kaimai Ranges. Waka Kotahi is asking travellers to avoid the area or delay a journey.

State Highway 33 between Te Puke and Rotorua has also been hit by slips but the road is now open.

- Additional reporting from RNZ

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