Happiness has turned to heartache for a South African family new to New Zealand as areas in and around their home slowly sinks.

Meiny and Daniel Erasmus immigrated in 2007 and by 2014 were ready to buy their first home.

Life in Greenwood Place, Paraparaumu, was enjoyable as their home was close to amenities, the yard big enough for their dog, it had a pool, and they watched in awe as the Mackays to Peka Peka Expressway was built close to where they live.

"But, and that is a big but, slowly we noticed things changing in and around our home," Meiny said.


"A small crack here, a slightly askew line there."

Things got worse including the removal of their pool as sinking caused a leak that couldn't be fixed.

And this month they noticed a small hole under a window and on further inspection found a big hole.

"My husband can push his arm in under the foundation slab as far as he can reach."

Earlier they had contacted their property insurer which led to a visit from the Earthquake Commission but the verdict didn't pinpoint issues with earthquakes.

Then the couple wondered if it was because of the new motorway as an area across the road from them went from "a swampy marsh or peat bog to nicely contained catchment dam".

They contacted their local council, a builder and some engineers but the specific cause hasn't been pinpointed.

"The reports by the builder and structural engineer identify issues and in some cases allocate the cause to the subsidence."

Meiny said, "But to come home and find a sink hole under your house is not okay."

The situation had been emotionally draining.

"With no way of knowing when and how, if at all, it can be reinstated it has become a source of stress and despair," Meiny said.

"It has been three years since the start of our concerns and despite the reports indicating that there are issues and that these are related to the ground sinking under our feet there is still no resolution.

"The stress is starting to take its toll as we are aware we have lost value to our property, the threat of further loss in the case of an earthquake and the loss of general enjoyment to our home."

Kapiti Coast District Council regulatory services group manager Natasha Tod said council staff was aware of the issue and were currently reviewing a recently released report and its findings.

"A decision is yet to be made on whether any further investigation is necessary."