A house which went crashing into a neighboring property during a botched demolition is contaminated with asbestos.

Kate Paterson, who uses a wheelchair, was trapped with gas leaking into her home on Moa Rd in Pt Chevalier, Auckland after a concrete wall from the house next door was pushed down across her driveway by an excavator this week.

WorkSafe confirmed this afternoon that the demolition site had tested positive for asbestos.

Paterson said she was "really angry" that the entire community had been subjected to a "massive" health and safety risk.


She said when the wall came crashing down there was a big cloud of dust, which was blown towards people watching the demolition.

"So all of our neighbours are really panicked…it's a busy family-based community so there were lots of children around looking at the demolition and no one had any idea that they were demolishing asbestos."

Paterson said she was also angry that the site foreman allegedly told her and her neighbours that they had certification to show the house was not contaminated with asbestos.

"When the demolition started I went and asked [the foreman] 'do you have an asbestos certificate to say that it's clear?' The foreman said that he did," she said.

Paterson said she asked the foreman the same question a second time, after noticing the ceiling and wall panels of the house looked like asbestos panelling she had seen before, and was met with the same answer.

It was at that point that she rang WorkSafe and asked them to test the property, which she followed up with an email.

"I said…'it's really scary, they are ripping [the house] down and this is when asbestos becomes airborne," she said.

Paterson her husband Aaron and sons Oscar, 11, and Ira, 8, have had to stay in a hotel since the incident on Wednesday.

The botched demolition left a hole in the side of their house and smashed concrete blocks, windows and tin roof sheeting piled on the driveway – Paterson's only wheelchair access in and out of the house.


WorkSafe has placed a prohibition notice on the site.

A WorkSafe spokesperson said a WorkSafe inspector would be visiting the site every day over the holiday period to make sure it was being appropriately managed.

Asbestos testing was also carried out at Paterson's house but returned a negative result.

Auckland Council said this week it was investigating the demolition work. WorkSafe had also been notified and was leading an investigation into safety concerns.