Land­slide sta­bilised, lake may re­main

The Dominion Post - - News - STAFF REPORTER

A land­slide be­tween Gis­borne and Wairoa that caused a large lake to form has been sta­bilised.

On Mon­day, Gis­borne Dis­trict Coun­cil said strategic man­age­ment of the slip in Muri­wai had sta­bilised the area, and the pre­vi­ously-closed Pa­paratu Rd had been re­opened.

Last month, Hawke’s Bay Civil De­fence man­ager Ian Macdon­ald said the land­slide, which was likely trig­gered by a small, lo­calised earth­quake, had be­come a ‘‘sig­nif­i­cant hazard’’ and peo­ple were warned to stay away from it.

It re­sulted in about 80 mil­lion tonnes of ma­te­rial form­ing a large dam on a small trib­u­tary to the Wairoa River, which was about 40 me­tres deep and ris­ing by about 60 cen­time­tres per day.

Ex­plo­sives were used to cut a two-me­tre-deep trench to re­lease wa­ter from the lake.

That trench had since been en­larged to im­prove wa­ter flow and fur­ther re­duce wa­ter lev­els, elim­i­nat­ing risks to a nearby bridge and farm­land.

Man­gapoike Sta­tion owner Dan Jex-Blake said it had been a stress­ful few weeks.

‘‘We are hope­ful we can have a per­ma­nent lake at the end of this that will pro­vide a habi­tat for rare and en­dan­gered wildlife. It’s been amaz­ing to see how fast rare species such as dabchicks have adapted to life on the new lake.’’

The land­slide and lake are lo­cated on pri­vate prop­erty, with the lake oc­cu­py­ing about 33 hectares. Both are in­ac­ces­si­ble to mem­bers of the pub­lic.

Coun­cil sci­en­tist Murry Cave said it was too soon to pre­dict the end re­sult. The coun­cil would con­tinue to mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion over the next few weeks un­til long-term sta­bil­ity of the lake had been es­tab­lished.

PHOTO: ROBERT KITCHIN/STUFF

Rewi McIn­tyre says a Go Wellington bus dam­aged his car, but NZ Bus says he can’t prove it so they won’t be pay­ing for it.

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