Tahunanui house of mud owner 'lucky'

Although he's still months away from getting back into his Tahunanui Drive home, 64-year-old Bob Gordon considers himself one of the lucky ones.

He's had a $100,000 payout from EQC and he's now talking to his own insurance company about what has to be done.

Although it had taken "a long time" to get this far, EQC had "come through in the end" and he felt for other victims of the big flood which hit the region six months ago.

"In some ways, because mine was such a mess I've probably been luckier than most, because basically they've run through the list and I get the big tick," the Alliance meatworks technical supervisor said.

He hopes he'll wind up with a better house than before and is looking at doing "all those minor alterations that you sort of scratch your head and scratch your arse and think about".

Mr Gordon was one of the public faces of the flood.

His picture and story were published in the week of the flood and then a month later, when grass had begun to grow on the mudslide that poured through his back door and into the kitchen.

He said he had organised a "digout" of the mud and paid for it himself because "there wasn't much happening" and had been reimbursed by EQC.

All the inside lining had to be removed to a level 600mm above the "tide-mark", which meant whole walls in some rooms and part-walls in others. The floor in his living room also had to be replaced. "I hope to be in by Christmas but there's a cascade of things to be done by then."

He said the process had been frustrating and he felt the city council and the EQC could have provided more "pastoral care" for victims faced with the unknown.

"All of us owners were in shock and trying to work our way through a whole new difficult system."

The Nelson Mail