What to do if your land has a slip
I went to Paturoa yesterday morning on a quiet and still day and took this photo.
It was serene, but the cliffs bore the scars of some significant slips, parts of the foreshore was washed away and there is still a car deposited on the edge of the cliff as a reminder of the fury of the previous storm.
These are some personal suggestions if you have a slip on your property.
The first thing to do is report it. Council is a complex entity. There can be multiple references to an individual event but without a reference number you will not be able to adequately converse with the entity in the future.
The second thing to do is work out is the location of the slip. There are generally three possibilities:
- It is on your land.
- It is on road reserve.
- It is on Council reserve.
You can check out Auckland Council’s Geomaps and turn on Aerial Basemap to give you a reasonably good aerial view showing the location of your property’s boundary.
The response will be somewhat complex. If it is on your land and potentially affects the road then Auckland Transport have indicated they will talk to you. No promises but if work is required to maintain the road then I suspect they will be willing to discuss proposals.
You should talk to your insurance company and lodge a claim if you have not already done so. You should also make sure that a claim with EQC has been made.
Often your insurance company will take care of this. Please EQC does not cover all damage to land.
And looking forward to the future there are a few things I believe have to happen.
- It is clear to me that a number of the slips happened on weed infected sites. Property by property we need to deal to weeds and replace them with more deep rooted native plants.
- Council has a role to play in this. The local board spends a reasonably significant amount of money on supporting communities deal with weeds. This sum has to increase dramatically and we need to do what we can to assist.
- We need to protect trees. They hold banks together and soak up water and slow down water flows. We cut them at our peril.
- Stormwater infrastructure needs to be reviewed and improved. And Council needs to be more nimble. At the first sign of a large storm there needs to be the ability to inspect and clear all drains.
- Perhaps most importantly local communities need to be supported and nurtured. I encountered many instances where locals grouped together and supported each other.