Wakefield Quay apartments 'done by Christmas'

01:00, Jun 16 2012

The flood-damaged Waterfront Apartments on Wakefield Quay, scene of a dramatic rescue at the peak of the flooding six months ago, ought to be ready for use again by Christmas.

Not only that, but "the asset will be far better than what it is now", body corporate chairman Tony Gowans said.

The difference, he said, would be that the cliff face behind the apartment building would be coated in protective concrete, and the stormwater system on the hill above would be improved.

Twelve of the 13 apartments are still covered by section 124 notices prohibiting occupation. The 13th is at the southern end and built on to the block.

Not all the residents are going back, however. Mr Gowans said one apartment had been sold, and some of the older owners might not be well enough to move back in, which was "a wee bit gut-wrenching".

At the peak of the flooding a torrent of mud poured down the hill and through the apartment building from the lift shaft and residents had to get out quickly, leaving everything behind. Two days later a cherry picker was used to hoist them up to their apartments to retrieve what they could.


Mr Gowans said discussions about cleaning out the loose material at the back and coating the cliff were under way with the city council.

"We're still waiting for a reply from EQC for some sealing work to be done on the staircase, once that's through we can get on and start putting things back where they came from."

He said the council had given an assurance that it would fast-track the necessary approvals, and EQC could only work with what its assessors provided.

A former tenant of a first-floor apartment in the complex, Marlo Ferguson, said she and her partner, Urgent Sinclair, had been living in temporary accommodation but had just found a new place to lease – ironically, further along Wakefield Quay at Latitude 41.

"It was a bit of a dance, really," she said.

The couple's apartment had been furnished by the landlord, so they had not lost much as a result of the flood.

"It was more the inconvenience." Even so, the experience had been "just a nightmare".

The Nelson Mail