Watery incursions are frequent frustrations for residents of a Far North beach settlement.

Leena Taylor isn't personally affected, but her neighbours at the south end of Marreine Place, Tokerau Beach, are fed up with their end of the street turning into a lake and blocking access to their driveways.

"When there is a wet weather event, run-off flows from the DOC wetlands where there is a swampy lake, and into the bottom end of Marreine Place to a depth of 60cm and more," Ms Taylor said.

"I was unwilling to walk any deeper, given that I am vertically challenged," she said, the day the photo was taken.


Judy Billington said she had lived here for 25 years, and despite many requests to the Far North District Council, nothing had changed. Te Hiku Community Board member Lawrie Atkinson had also lodged numerous requests with the council for remedial work, to no avail.

One issue seemed to be that that part of the road was lower than the rest, so the water could not get away, Ms Taylor said.

There were also health and safety concerns. One resident feared that a child could drown, while another pointed to the potential for the water to provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes and other pests.

One elderly resident, who had recently had a hip replacement, had been forced to move out of his home temporarily as neither he nor his home help could negotiate the water.

"A stormwater drain was installed some years ago, but this only goes part-way along Marreine Place," Ms Taylor said. "Residents whose properties border this drain pay an extra targeted rate of $38 every year for this.

The FNDC's supporting information to the consultation document for the long-term plan 2018-2028 states that stormwater systems are currently 'fit for purpose' (3.2). Despite this assertion, that section also says, 'The lack of planned maintenance is the leading cause of failures. This is because maintenance is reactionary and based on complaints'.

"The document also states that to 'develop and implement a planned maintenance programme and inspection register is a priority'."

The Tokerau Beach and Whatuwhiwhi Residents' and Ratepayers' Association welcomed that, and had some possible solutions to offer, she said.


"They would appreciate the opportunity to share these with FNDC and DOC representatives," she said. "The residents of Marreine Place feel they have put up with this dangerous hazard for long enough, and would like to see some urgent action take place to remedy it."

Far North District Council general manager — infrastructure and asset management, Andy Finch, said periodic flooding at Marreine Place was one of many drainage issues that the stormwater team was currently working through.

They had completed preliminary work to assess this particular issue, and would revisit this month to determine whether a solution was feasible. They were confident that it could be resolved.

"As residents are aware, the problem is a small rise that traps water at the end of the street. This rise also isolates that section of the street from an existing drain to the sea," Mr Finch added.

He thanked residents for bringing the issue to the council's attention, and apologised for the wait they had had to have it resolved.