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Whenua pāhekeheke ki Maungatapu

Land instability on Maungatapu Peninsula

Maungatapu aerial image

Our changing climate may influence the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and associated hazards.

Since mid-2022 a number of slips have occurred on the Maungatapu Peninsula which have coincided with higher periods of higher-than-average rainfall. The peninsula, and in particular the cliffs, have a long history of slip events, as do some other parts of the city.

Over this time, 13 Maungatapu homes have, to our knowledge, been directly or indirectly affected by slips on the peninsula. There are also older slips which are continuing to move, as well as slips around esplanade reserves or walkways, which have not impacted houses.

Maungatapu Landslide Advice (5mb pdf)

Maungatapu Peninsula Ground Investigation

We’re investigating the layers of soil and rock in Maungatapu along with the position of the ground saturation zone and existing stormwater disposal methods. This investigation will build on the data we already hold about ground conditions in relation to landslides, which was shared with residents in October 2023. With this data on hand we hope to build a better understanding of why slips occur when and where they do, which will help us manage them better into the future and provide more certainty for residents.

Over the next few months, you may see drilling rigs and Cone Penetration Testing (CPT) Rigs operating on road berms and in open spaces across the peninsula. Some of this work will require traffic management and road shoulder closures. A CPT measures the resistance of soils as it pushes a test probe into the ground and lets us know how the ground is likely to behave under different conditions such as heavy rainfall. Crews will also drill boreholes to extract soil for testing and place permanent monitoring stations during this process. The stations will not disrupt the area above ground.

This work will begin in mid-May and is expected to take three months to complete.

Findings from our investigation will be available here once a report is finalised.

Supporting residents

Where slips occur on private property, we will work with the property’s owners to assess whether their property is still safe to live in. As part of this process, a property owner will have an assigned contact person within council to liaise with.

Although slips on privately-owned land would fall to the property owner to address, if council land or assets are affected, we may consider taking action to stabilise a slip.

Where recommended by our engineers, we will also continue to monitor a slip and obtain geotechnical reports. These reports can be provided to affected residents or nearby neighbours who are interested in receiving them.

It is the property owner's responsibility to liaise with their insurer and EQC about next steps required.

We would remind everyone that slips are possible at any time, particularly during very wet weather, and to self-evacuate and phone emergency services if you feel you are in danger.

If you have any questions or have concerns about a slip, please contact our call centre on 07 577 7000 to talk to our team.

Planning ahead

We are continuing to review the data we hold about natural hazards to ensure we have the most up to date information available for our community and will share this information as it becomes available on our website.

This includes sharing the updated slope hazard data and new landslide susceptibility data across the city, which has been will be updated in our online mapping tool (MAPI).

Updated and new information is added to a property’s Land Information Memorandum (LIM). 

Using the latest data means we can work together to make informed decisions for our homes, businesses and communities, and make sure our infrastructure is resilient.

Council map viewer Mapi

Updates

If you would like to be notified by email when this webpage is updated with new information, please email us at natural.hazards@tauranga.govt.nz

Where recommended by an engineer we may continue to monitor a slip for safety reasons. If you are a nearby neighbour to a slip at Egret Avene and would like to receive the monitoring updates, which are technical reports of the slip that record any changes observed, please email us your full name and address to natural.hazards@tauranga.govt.nz

Commonly asked questions

You can check our online mapping tool, which provides up-to-date hazard modelling information for every property in the city.

Council map viewer Mapi

Slips are possible, especially during continued wet weather. We advise to self-evacuate and phone emergency services if you feel you are in danger.

If you would like to report a slip or notice a slip has changed, please phone us on 07 577 7000 or email us at info@tauranga.govt.nz

Over the past 12 months to July 31 2023, 13 Maungatapu homes have, to our knowledge, been directly or indirectly affected by slips on the peninsula, with the most recent slip occurring in July. There are also older slips which are continuing to move, as well as slips around esplanade reserves or walkways, which have not impacted houses.

Where slips occur on private property, we will work with the property’s owners to assess whether their property is still safe to live in. Where recommended by our engineers, we will also continue to monitor a slip and obtain geotechnical reports. It would then be the property owner’s responsibility to liaise with their insurer and EQC about next steps required.

Although slips on privately-owned land would fall to the property owner to address, if council land or assets are affected, we may consider taking action to stabilise a slip.

Red placards (commonly referred to as red stickers) are one potential outcome of a Rapid Building Assessment completed under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, but can only be utilised while an area is under a state of emergency.

As no homes were impacted while Tauranga was under the 2023 state of emergency, none were red-stickered.

When not under a state of emergency, councils are able to take action to ensure that buildings aren’t dangerous and don’t cause serious harm to people or property.

We are continuing to monitor the houses on Maungatapu Road and Mersea Place which have been affected by cliff-top erosion. However, this erosion is a natural process and remediation of large cliffs like this is not always practically possible. This is a matter for homeowners and their insurers/EQC to consider and we do not have a role in protecting private property from coastal erosion and slips. As noted above, we might consider repairs to slips where Council assets and land is involved.

The potential for possible additional investigations is being considered and is part of the Maungatapu geotechnical study noted above. Further investigations would be needed to understand whether meaningful steps can be taken to prevent future landslips.

There are things you can to that will help to reduce the risk of a landslide occurring. We recommend looking at the following websites to learn more about steps you can take and what to look out for.

Where slips occur on private property, an affected property owner will have an assigned contact person within council to liaise with. This person will share updates with them as well as help to answer any questions.

Following some slips, we may continue to monitor the slip for safety reasons. These reports can be provided to affected residents or nearby neighbours who are interested in receiving them.

None of the geotechnical reports or studies we have been involved in have discussed a fault-line along the Peninsula.

There are currently no plans to ‘retrofit’ additional stormwater drainage infrastructure in developed areas of the peninsula. Such a process would be immensely complex and costly and would not provide any guarantee that land stability issues would be successfully addressed.

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