Coastal Auck­land col­laps­ing into sea


Auck­land’s storms and heavy rain have caused more than 100 new slips around the coast, with Auck­land Coun­cil fac­ing a huge clean job.

Auck­land Coun­cil can’t say yet what the re­pair bill will be, be­cause it has to plan the work, a task made more chal­leng­ing by the fact more land­slides are oc­cur­ring ev­ery week.

‘‘Auck­land Coun­cil has bud­get set aside each year for mi­nor storm dam­age.

How­ever, the most re­cent weather events and sub­se­quent slips that have oc­curred are be­ing treated as ma­jor dam­age, which will in­clude both op­er­a­tional and cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­ture,’’ gen­eral man­ager of com­mu­nity fa­cil­i­ties Rod Sheri­dan said.

The coun­cil’s prin­ci­pal geotech­ni­cal spe­cial­ist, Ross Roberts, said be­tween July 10 to 14 about five new slips had ap­peared.

Roberts said there were sev­eral fac­tors that de­ter­mined which slips were a pri­or­ity to ad­dress.

‘‘We take a risk-based ap­proach. We look at what’s im­pacted by it [the slip] and what could be im­pacted if it gets worse,’’ Roberts said.

‘‘The high pri­or­i­ties for us are the ones where pub­lic ac­cess has been se­verely com­pro­mised. The higher the risk, the higher the pri­or­ity.’’

Roberts said the ‘‘ease of re­in­state­ment’’ also played into the pri­ori­ti­sa­tion process, some could be im­por­tant to fix but also dif­fi­cult.

Kennedy Park stairs at a World War II site on Auck­land’s North Shore were af­fected by one such slip.

The stairs, pop­u­lar with ex­er­cis­ers, were con­torted when the land be­neath them slipped dur­ing tor­ren­tial rain in April.

‘‘It’s a chal­leng­ing site, and one where putting it back ex­actly where it was is prob­a­bly not ac­cept­able,’’ Roberts said.

‘‘We don’t want to be do­ing the same thing in three or four years.’’

The Lo­tus Track, north of Browns Bay, was also a chal­lenge, be­cause clay had fallen away from be­neath the path and the path couldn’t be re-aligned closer to the cliff, Roberts said.

He es­ti­mated the coun­cil was deal­ing with more than 100 slips across Auck­land on pub­lic land, with even more on pri­vate land.

Pri­vate slips fell un­der the con­trol of the Earth­quake Com­mis­sion, he said.


This slip at Mataka­tia Bay in Whanga­paraoa is one of many around Auck­land.

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