Half his possessions are in storage, he turns down out-of-town work and is reluctant to have a pet - living in Whanganui's Anzac Pde flood zone is having a devastating effect on Gus Murray.

"I feel my life has been put on hold and I'm in a permanent state of limbo."

He told Horizons regional councillors he felt isolated and abandoned as he spoke to his Long-term Plan submission in Whanganui on May 24.

The managed retreat option the council offers to people in his situation is "pitiful" and its communication with affected people through media announcements is pathetic, he said.


That approach amounted to doing as little as possible for residents, and he has accepted that the Whanganui community also doesn't care.

Murray lives in a 30-year-old house on a property that has been in his family for 70 years. It's one of 30 houses in the lowest point of Anzac Pde, near the Matarawa Stream.

It was severely flooded in June 2015, and he was evacuated again in 2016. In 2017 he self-evacuated at the prospect of Cyclone Debbie, which flooded Edgecumbe instead. There were further scares and floods in 2013 and 1990.

He doesn't want to sell his house, despite the fact houses in the area are still getting good prices.

"I don't believe in passing my problem on to someone else."

He would have liked continued protection from higher stopbanks, but that hasn't been popular with other ratepayers.

He's suggesting Horizons put the 30 houses most at risk into a "red zone" and apply for Government funding to buy or move or raise them. After that no one else should build there.

It would be possible to raise his house, but it might cost as much as a new build. He said he wouldn't mind living up high, and if the property flooded again the Earthquake Commission would repair damage on the ground.


Some of the older homes in his area would be more difficult to move or raise.

"I would like people to buy me out of my home or help me lift my home," he told the councillors.