Some of the 34 residents in part of the troubled Eastcliffe Retirement Village at Auckland's Orakei say they do not want to be evacuated.

Yesterday, owner Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa announced it wanted to move 34 residents in 33 townhouse and apartment blocks due to structural, fire and earthquake concerns.

An aerial view of Eastcliffe in Orakei. The six blocks to be evacuated are shaded.
An aerial view of Eastcliffe in Orakei. The six blocks to be evacuated are shaded.

This morning, one resident said some people living in the six blocks being evacuated questioned why they had to move and wanted more information.

A residents' meeting is planned for tomorrow, she said.

Advertisement

"We don't want to leave till we have more information," she said, asking for anonymity.

Eastcliffe has 161 residents in total and concerns are for only part of the site but not the main hospital block at the end of Kupe St.

Ngarimu Blair, a Ngati Whatua Orakei Whai Rawa director, said yesterday he had sympathy for residents' views and understood they did not want to leave their homes.

But their safety was paramount and that was the reason that his organisation required them to move.

Blair said plans are to shift the 34 people in the six townhouse and apartment blocks at the end of Rukutai St into Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart at 2 Taparoa St in the Quay Park area of the central business district.

Residents are to live at Adina for an as-yet unspecified length of time until investigations can be carried out on six blocks at Eastcliffe.

Another visitor said his relative had lived at the site and feelings were running high against the shift. People were worried what leaving would mean for their licence to occupy their places, he said.

The Eastcliffe Retirement Village at Orakei, where 34 residents out of 161 people are being evacuated. Photo/Doug Sherring
The Eastcliffe Retirement Village at Orakei, where 34 residents out of 161 people are being evacuated. Photo/Doug Sherring

"Some of them don't want to move. A lot are saying 'I've only got four years left of my life and I'm going to die soon'," he said.

A meeting was held during the weekend and strong feelings were expressed at that, he said.

The six blocks affected are Nikau, Matai, Kauri, Kowhai, Totara and Rata.

One block, Kauri, has already been evacuated and those residents have been moved into many of the five blocks which are now planned to be evacuated, so they will have to shift twice.

Robert Cunningham Construction has been working on the big Kauri block overlooking Bastion Pt. That building has its cladding removed and is stripped back to its structural timber framing but no work was being carried out there yesterday.

Kauri is covered in scaffolding and a protective white building wrap.

Blair said yesterday: "We are consulting with the residents about their specific needs and moving them as quickly as possible. We have secured accommodation for them all and ideally, we would like to have them all out today. But understandably, it's taking time for everyone to get their heads around this. So we've arranged additional monitoring and security measures to ensure their safety on site until all are relocated."

Adina was an ideal location for them to move to, he said.

"We're moving as fast as the residents are comfortable with. We have organised accommodation at the Adina Apartments near the Ngati Whatua offices so we can meet regularly and keep residents informed.

"We understand that some residents may choose to stay with family, move to their holiday homes or make other arrangements. We will be assisting with packing etc. and ensuring all residents have the support they need in making the move. All relocation and accommodation costs are being met by Ngati Whatua Orakei. We're not putting a price tag on this - it's about doing the right thing."