The owner of a Mokau bach teetering on a crumbling bank hopes to remove the building this weekend before it slides onto the beach.
Rob Bailey's Beach Rd bach is the latest casualty of ongoing coastal erosion in the area.
Urgent work is under way by the Waitomo District Council to slow the erosion by stabilising the end of Beach Rd with temporary rock armouring.
But Raglan-based Mr Bailey said the council's response was too little too late.
"I'm pretty disappointed and wish there had been some quicker action.
"They kind of leave you to fend for yourself down there."
Beach Rd had been battered by recent high tides with onshore wind which had significantly increased the rate of erosion, he said.
A storm pounded the bach about three weeks ago, just after Mr Bailey had spent $1000 on rocks to stabilise the front of the property.
"It all happened in one hit.
"We had 3m in front of the house before that last storm."
He bought the property a year ago and did not expect it to erode so rapidly.
"The houses have been there a long time and there's a substantial amount of rocks in front, we thought we had longer than that."
A storm water drain at the end of the road which the council had neglected to fix also added to the erosion, he said.
Mr Bailey said the unpredictable nature of the conditions at Mokau meant they needed to act quickly on removing the building.
"If the house wasn't teetering on the edge we would leave it and in some time fix it but things are critical down there."
He said he might put a caravan on the property after the house is removed this weekend.
A Waitomo District Council spokesman said it had put in place some temporary rock armouring at the end of Beach Rd to slow the erosion and the stormwater drain had been diverted.
The spokesman said council discussed options for a coastal erosion protection response with the Mokau community about a decade ago but the community declined because of the costs involved.
Beach Rd resident Ray Christiansen said the community decided at that point to take matters into their own hands and construct an illegal rock wall to save their properties.
The council said it had committed to a response strategy for a "managed retreat" over time to allow property owners to remove assets and cap services as the erosion process progressed.
"In other words we had to throw the towel in and go," he said.
Mr Christiansen, whose property is about 12m back from the edge of the crumbling bank, said the unauthorised rock wall built in 2006 had made "a hell of a difference".
"If the rocks hadn't been there I'd have lost my garden by now."
He said the council opposed the rock wall because it was "alien to the environment" but it appeared to have since realised its benefit.
Despite the threatening tides, Mr Christiansen was confident his property would hold out for a while yet.
"I can catch fish off my back lawn in a high tide, not many people can do that. With a bit of luck I'll catch some whitebait too."
- © Fairfax NZ News
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