Titahi Bay subsidence worry
‘‘I know I’m probably thought of as an old whinger, but this needs to be fixed.’’
Tom Phillips has a sandy problem, and he’s afraid of what it might mean.
The Housing New Zealand tenant has lived for four years in a block of flats in Ian Graves Close, Titahi Bay.
He said he enjoyed the spot, close to the beach and shops, and got on well with his neighbours.
However, the 73-year-old said he has made his Housing New Zealand landlords aware of a problem from the day he moved in – a build-up of sand in his small back yard.
‘‘I’m forever clearing it out,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s a real pain, not just for me but my neighbours too.’’
The large wall that towers over the back of his home seems very solid, but there are obvious structural problems at the top, where another Housing New Zealand flat’s front yard meets the wall.
The grass is soft and appears to be sinking, and there is a separation between the fence at the top of the wall and the wall itself.
Phillips said his pleas to have the problem fixed were not being heeded.
‘‘I get fobbed off or passed on to a new person to speak to. Sometimes they call me back, some- times they don’t.
‘‘I know I’m probably thought of as an old whinger, but this needs to be fixed, or someone will fall into a big sinkhole at the top or the wall will come down on top of my house or my neighbours.’’
Phillips said he had been given numerous ‘‘work order numbers’’ by Housing New Zealand managers and been told repairs would be undertaken in due course.
‘‘I’ve been told investigations have been carried out, but nothing is happening.’’
Housing New Zealand area manager Kathy Furfie said contractors visited Ian Graves Close two weeks ago to ensure there was no safety risk and decide on the best course of action.
‘‘It was decided some repair work was needed on the wall and to install new drainage,’’ she said.
Furfie said an attempt was made by the contractors to speak to Phillips, but he wasn’t home. She was comfortable that he had since been updated.
There was no cost estimate for the work, she said.
Tom Phillips at his Titahi Bay Housing New Zealand home, which has a build-up of sand in the back yard.