Family optimistic after mudslide

03:45, Dec 02 2013
 Paul and Lisa Suthers
Disaster zone: Paul and Lisa Suthers look into their son’s bedroom that was crushed by a landslide that slammed into their Picton home.

A Picton family who lost their rented home in last week's storm are just grateful the land behind the house didn't give way at night.

Paul and Lisa Suthers, with their two sons Gabe and Charlie, are no longer able to live at the Milton Tce home after the bank at the rear crashed through the back bedroom where 4-year-old Charlie slept.

The landslide happened during the day while the family were out. The couple were grateful for that.

Mr Suthers said the wall appeared to have given way suddenly, slamming a bookshelf across the room hard into the opposite wall and folding Charlie's bed in half.

They had no indication the land behind the house was about to slip. It seemed to have given way under a lot of water from Thursday's torrential rain.

"If it had been the middle of the night, the way that bed was . . . I dread to think what would have happened."


The family had rented the Milton Tce house for the past four months since returning from a four-month stay in Britain and had been looking forward to spending the summer there.

While the house was insured by its owners, who were overseas, the family's belongings were not.

"We don't have that much stuff. We're trying to get away from materialistic things, and it was a saving we could make."

The couple said the response from the Picton community had been amazing and confirmed how much they liked the town as a place to live.

"We're very fortunate people, the way it's happened with no-one hurt. A lot of people are a lot worse off. This is just a blip. We'll be back at work next week."

Mrs Suthers is a teacher and Mr Suthers, who works in sports, is about to train as a teacher. 

The Marlborough Express