26 Feb 2015

Landslide may force pensioner out of home

9:50 pm on 26 February 2015

A pensioner with terminal cancer has been told he must move out of his Paihia home because of a slow-moving landslide.

The Far North District Council has written to Willy Wilson and two of his neighbours saying their houses are now unsafe and they need to evacuate their homes by July

Mr Wilson said he and his wife moved into the house in 1998 and were first made aware of the landslide back in 2002.

He said they made a claim to the Earthquake Commission then, and received $70,000 in compensation.

Mr Wilson said his jaw dropped at the weekend when he received the letter, which came out of the blue.

The council should have spoken to them in person, he said.

Mr Wilson said he was asking the EQC whether he would be able to get any more compensation.

The council said evacuation was not necessary immediately, but would be when the wetter weather arrives.

General manager of district services Dean Myburgh said an area of hillside near the intersection of the two roads had been unstable for years and geotechnical engineers had now told the council the houses were unsafe to occupy.

The engineers' advice was that while the risk of a catastrophic landslide was unlikely, it could not be ruled out during heavy rain.

Stabilising the land was not an option an option because of the size of the slip.