A Mangawhai woman  says she has been unable to sell a prime lifestyle block because access to the property has been restricted by a trench dug across the road by the Kaipara District Council.
Christine Wech said her dream of building her own home on a picturesque native bush site with coastal and harbour views had turned into a nightmare.
She can no longer afford to build - but can't sell either.
Instead, she and her 16-year-old daughter are living in a makeshift camp hoping some kind of resolution can be reached before winter sets in.
In November 2005, Ms Wech purchased a vacant block on Mangawhai's Cames Rd,  planning to fund the building of her own home by subdividing it  and selling one half.
In February 2008, a year after she  applied, the   council granted her consent to subdivide the property.
The consent required the creation of two new vehicle crossings and driveways, one on a legal, private road and the other on a "public legal road, owned by council" but not maintained by it. No upgrade was needed and "people were legally entitled to use" this road.
Since then a wrangle over the status and use of the road has resulted in that section of the road being closed to vehicles.
 In December 2008, the council dug the trench directly outside one of Ms Wech's properties. She said this was done without any consultation and the letter advising residents of the impending action arrived after the trench had already been dug.
Soil is  heaped on both sides of the road with a deep channel cut through for drainage. It restricts access from the Wech properties to the western entrance of Cames Rd, while the neighbour several hundred metres away has to use the eastern entrance.
Ms Wech said when she purchased the property, Cames Rd was open to vehicles as a busy through road.
The council says the Wech property is on a section of unformed public road illegally developed by an unknown developer. Due to dust complaints,  they closed the section to vehicles in December 2008. They say since the road was never officially opened there was no need to publicly notify the closure.
Ms Wech said two formal purchase agreements on her property  had fallen through  because lawyers had advised clients against proceeding.    "Banks will not approve a mortgage for me to build ... and I've had to rely on family to bail me out."
She blames the need to restabilise one driveway (to meet consent conditions) on run-off from the trench.
Ms Wech admits not having paid either developer's or reserve contributions or fees amounting to about $19,000. She says she is reluctant to pay because she is afraid the council will continue to find reasons not to sign off the consent. "They say the driveways and the utility service lines haven't been done, yet I have provided appropriate documentation and receipts to the contrary.
"I have considered cutting my losses and selling the block as one per the original title - but the entrance to this is still on the unformed road and directly beside the trench."
A council spokeswoman said she could not comment  on the issues. She said  council was working with Ms Wech and was  arranging a visit to her property.
The official said the council had no records of any applications being made for LIM's reports on the property.