Damaged Scenic Drive home at risk of collapse, residents evacuated in West Auckland

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The house on Scenic Drive, Swanson, was damaged during the Auckland Anniversary floods. Photo / Hayden Woodward

West Auckland residents are evacuating as a house damaged during this year’s severe weather events is at risk of collapse.

A witness said the house on Scenic Drive in Swanson was “fully on a lean” and neighbouring residents were self-evacuating.

Scenic Drive has now been closed and diversions are in place, police said. Motorists are advised to avoid the area and take an alternate route.

The owner of the house, Grant Fraser, told the Herald the “house was on the move” and they have not been in the home since it was red-stickered after the Auckland Anniversary floods in January.


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“They’re closing the roads. So if it does collapse no one will be injured,” Fraser said.

“It’s not great … It’s been on the move for the last few weeks.”

A police spokesperson confirmed they had been called to the scene to help Fire and Emergency NZ (Fenz).

A Fenz spokesman said they were called to the house at 7.32pm after people reported it looked as though the building would collapse.


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He said the property was known to Fenz after it was red-stickered and was at imminent risk of collapsing.

Auckland Council has also been notified to attend. The spokesperson said firefighters at the site have begun assessing neighbouring houses.

Auckland Council manager for Licensing and Regulatory Compliance Mervyn Chetty said rainfall over the last few days resulted in further slipping of the home.

The property owners had been working with the council on the controlled demolition of the house, Chetty said. The home is one of many red-stickered properties on this stretch of Scenic Drive.

Councillor for Waitākere Shane Henderson said this was another situation that was going to create “havoc” for residents in the area.

“The residents there are doing it tough and [this] will be further stress for them and what’s already been a really stressful year,” Henderson said.

Henderson urged residents to only travel around the area if they “absolutely need to” as even though cordons are in place, some of the detours were “gnarly”.

At the start of this month, Finance Minister Grant Robertson estimated 700 properties across the country were considered unliveable due to recent weather events and homeowners would be offered a voluntary buyout through a funding arrangement between the Government and councils.

Former associate minister of finance Michael Wood said the majority of these homes were in Auckland.

The buyout comes with an estimated $1 billion price tag which would be spilt between Auckland Council and the Government.


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Auckland Council began discussions with the residents of these homes on June 13, so they could be informed if their home falls into a “high-risk property category” and tell them a “detailed risk assessment” is needed.

Robertson said the engagement is a “useful step” for affected property owners, however, he hopes the communication provides certainty.

“It is imperative all councils in affected areas, including Auckland, provide certainty to affected residents on what category their properties will likely fall under as soon as possible, following the process undertaken by the cyclone task force working with councils and insurers to pull together data on affected areas,” Robertson said.

Rachel Maher is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. She has worked for the Herald since 2022.

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