19 Aug 2010

Whakatane public areas closed due to landslip risk

8:04 pm on 19 August 2010

At least 10 Whakatane residents have been forced to spend a second night away from their homes on Thursday, as an unstable hillside behind the properties continues to pose a risk.

The Whakatane District Council earlier in the day blocked off a playground, public toilets, reserve, walkway and parking areas opposite the evacuated properties on Muriwai Drive.

The council's chief executive, Diane Turner, says there will be a meeting with the residents on Friday but cannot say when they will be able to return home.

In the meantime, Ms Turner is urging motorists not to use Muriwai Drive unless they have to.

Engineers are still assessing the slip to determine how best to stabilise it.