Council’s cruel attitude to landslip victims

Press Release – David Thornton

North Shore City Council is keeping landslip victims in the dark about decisions made in secret affecting the victims properties which are under constant threat of further landslips.

Media release 30th September 2009

Council’s cruel attitude to stressed landslip victims

North Shore City Council is keeping landslip victims in the dark about decisions made in secret affecting the victims properties which are under constant threat of further landslips.

14 months ago some residents of Mulberry Place, Glenfield, were hit with a landslip which wiped out two homes, severely damaged another, and placed others under permanent threat because of long-term instability of the land on which they were built.

The landslip caused half of the Mulberry Place roadway to collapse.

Subsequent investigation revealed that a previous council, in the 1970s, had given permission for subdivision of the land and construction of houses on the land.

Over the years there have been numerous slips on the land and a ‘paper trail’ reveals that successive council’s attempted to stabilise the land, and all those attempts failed.

Most of these facts were not reported in the council’s property files and on LIMs issued by the council.

Owners of the three threatened homes on 1 Mulberry went to the North Shore City Council on 17th February this year and asked the council to buy their homes as they had no belief in remedial measures suggested by the council to stabilise the land.

Since then there have been endless meetings with council staff and a mediation process was begun taking in all six affected properties.

This mediation failed because of the council’s failure to act in good faith by virtue of its refusal to consider the owners proposal to buy their threatened and damaged properties.

The owners returned to the council on 15th September and told the council that a revaluation of their homes showed a loss in value of 84%. They again asked the council committee to buy them out at pre-slip value.

The council committee made some decisions in secret that day. The matter was then referred to the full council meeting on 23rd September – again the issue was dealt with behind closed doors.

Today, seven days later, council officers are refusing to meet the residents but may do so in about two weeks.

I am demanding that a meeting take place urgently to advise the residents of the secret decisions made by the council which directly affects these threatened properties.

In recent times the council has spent over $4 million buying a house at Mairangi Bay, has spent $900,000 on investigating and evaluating a possible aquatic centre in Albany, $600,000 on public toilets in a park in Northcote – and wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars on developing a range of new ‘strategies’ for North Shore City, which will become superfluous when the SuperCity takes over next year.

But the council does not seem capable of buying out the Mulberry Place properties which should never have been built on unstable land – and for which the council carries the ultimate liability.

With all this background the council should be acting with the greatest possible speed – but instead they are keeping the residents waiting the cruellest possible way by not explaining the decisions reached in secret a week ago.

Elected councillors are failing in their duty to their citizens by supporting the council officers in withholding the secret decisions.

ENDS

Content Sourced from scoop.co.nz
Original url