Seven flood-hit homes to be demolished

A further seven houses in the Tasman District will have to be demolished as the region cleans up six months on from a one in 500 flood.

Tasman District Council recovery manager Adrian Humphries said there were still 16 buildings with section 124 notices on them in the Tasman District.

Most of the properties are in Golden Bay; with notices on places in Rangihaeata, Wainui, two in Ligar Bay, Clifton, four in Pohara, two in Rocklands Rd, one outside of Takaka, and two in Motupipi. But there are also two properties in Richmond: one in Hill St and the other in Hillplough Heights.

Mr Humphries said of the 16 structures with section 124 notices, three were sleepouts and seven were houses that were completely destroyed or were likely to be demolished.

The other six required engineering assessment, protection work or repair.

It was up to the homeowners to do the work to get the notices lifted and it was likely some of the work was being held up by civil disputes.

Three section 124 notices had just been removed, with two houses demolished and one having the protection work needed.

Mr Humphries said the council was still going through the claims process with its insurers and the Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management but the total cost of the recovery was estimated at about $10.1 million. Of that the Tasman District Council was likely to have to pay $3.4m.

He said the council had done a lot of work in the six months since the flooding event and he was extremely proud of what had been achieved. There would also be people frustrated that things were not moving fast enough but generally people had been brilliant.

"I think that generally people in the areas are very mindful of what we have done and extremely supportive of what we have done."

Mr Humphries said work done included re-reinstating roads and utilities.

The council had also worked with landowners to carry out work to repair land and river course and worked with volunteers to repair walkways and reserves and plant countless trees and grasses.

He said the council had also advocated for claimants with the EQC and liaised with agencies to help get the best results for individuals and the district.

"We have acted as moderators in neighbourhood disputes. We have removed and disposed of thousands of tonnes of debris and made land available for residents to dispose of their debris."

Mr Humphries said there was still a full works programme and new work constantly cropped up, which made it difficult to put a time limit on when work would be completed.

The council's immediate priorities were helping residents remediate land and properties using their EQC payouts and insurance payouts, and tackling the drainage issues in the Pohara Valley.

Some of the work in the Pohara would need to be largely funded by private landowners and this would also affect how long it would take for the work to be done.

Mr Humphries said it was likely repairs to the roads in the district would be completed in a year and work on water supplies done in three months.

However, the reality was that parts of the district would never be the same following the flood and the council had learnt that certain things could not cope with events like the one it had experienced.

The Nelson Mail