A Hamilton property owner claims a Waikato building company purposefully dug out a portion of dirt on his section to avoid building a retaining wall.

Neil Pitts says the extracation of dirt by David Reid Homes Waikato has left his storm water and water pipes exposed and a gaping hole between his shed and the boundary line.

He said a 2.4m high plywood fence was erected at the site - on the corner of River Rd and Queenwood Ave - yesterday to try and block the affected area being viewed from the road.

However, David Reid Homes Waikato owner Ben Green denies any wrongdoing, saying his builders "cut to the boundary line".


"The remaining dirt between my cut and his concrete block wall (around 200mm thick) fell away of its own accord."

But Pitts says he told Green about six months ago - when his team were digging out the site - not to encroach on his property.

However, after the recent storms the dirt slipped onto Green's section by about 1m.

"Then on Monday, they got diggers in and they basically dug a 2m hole and expected the dirt to stand up on its own and of course that's fallen in. And then on Tuesday they hurriedly put some fence posts up and put a plywood wall up to hide it from the public."

Pitts says David Reid Homes Waikato should have put steel beams in the ground to help hold the dirt in place before starting to dig.

Now he says the hole is increasing in size by the day - and now measures about 10m long and 200mm wide.

"I said [to Green] you can do what you like on your site but you're not using my wall, so he's just dug the dirt away and let nature take its course. But what holds it up? There was nothing there to hold it so it was always going to fall."

Pitts said he was now nervous about what would happen next as the builders still had a further 2m deep to dig to make the new wall strong enough for the two-storey house being built.

Green told the Herald he did not believe the company had done anything wrong.

"We have been operating within the legal requirements of the building code and have had confirmation from engineers and the different regulatory authorities that we could continue as long as we did so."

The building site on River Rd. Neil Pitts' property is out of frame but to the left of the site. Photo / Belinda Feek
The building site on River Rd. Neil Pitts' property is out of frame but to the left of the site. Photo / Belinda Feek

Green said he intends to "fully reinstate the 200mm of soil as per his wishes".

"I have said this to Mr Pitts on several occasions."

Green said the concrete block wall adjoining Pitts' boundary and his boundary was "self-supporting".

"The fact that 200mm of soil has fallen away from the face of his wall after our cut was made in no way impacts the structural integrity of the wall. I have had engineering input from our structural engineers all the way through this project (including Tuesday) confirming the wall is fine.

"We in no way have or will be undermining the foundation to his block wall or his house as a result."

He said the plywood fence was not to hide what's happened.

"As per the Building Act, I have to prevent the loss of amenity to the neighbouring property. The plywood sheets were installed to do this."

As for installing steel beams, Green said the dirt was only dug out on Monday.

"Up until that point, there has been no issue."

He denied the hole was 10m long and denied it had increased in size.