Five Omokoroa property owners who have had to evacuate due to major slips in the past two weeks have no idea when they will be able to return to their homes.

Western Bay of Plenty District Council staff were monitoring slips in Omokoroa daily, a council spokeswoman said.

She said the land was still moving at the various sites where major slips had occurred in the past two weeks.

At present five properties - one each in Beach Grove, Kowhai Grove and Harbour View Rd, plus two in McDonnell St - remained evacuated for safety reasons, she said.


A section of Harbour View Rd and about 240m of the Ruamoana Walkway also remained closed as a safety precaution.

There were a few more minor slips in new locations over the long Easter weekend.

The council spokeswoman said that included on a council reserve land near the Omokoroa Bowling Club and a small walkway at Waterview Terrace.

"We are urging residents to say well clear of all slip sites and not to walk or travel through any cordoned-off areas. They're closed for important safety reasons," she said.

Kowhai Grove couple Jody Sawyers and Rhys Bradford are staying with friends after they woke on April 7 to a gaping hole in their back section.

An estimated 5000cu m of soil had slipped away, and last Thursday they lost a further 2m of their backyard as the slip crept closer to the living area of their home.

Mr Bradford said council's response, particularly from [engineering manager] Peter Clark, had been "amazing".

"Peter has visited our property every day since the first major slip to have a nosey and check it out. As far as I know there has not been any more slippage over the long weekend but if there was there's not much we could do about it.

"We take our advice from Peter and that is to stay away until it is deemed safe to return."

The couple's insurers had earlier told them it could take up to six months before a final
geotechnical engineering investigation report would be available.

Harbour View Rd property owners Paul and Corrinne Devitt are faced lengthy delays on their plans to build a house on the vacant section they bought about seven years ago.

A devastated Mr Devitt said the problem was that the huge slip that carved up part of their section had come from a property above their own.

"I spent $30,000 on geo-tech engineering testing last time there was a huge slip, about five years ago, that included bringing a huge rig up from Christchurch," he said.

Mr Devitt said the Earthquake Commission (EQC) paid for the last slip to be cleared and a retaining wall to be erected.

"What is worrying me is that just erecting a retaining wall won't solve the problem this time round, nor prevent more slips from happening again."

He said that since the latest slip EQC and council staff had told him an intensive geo-technical engineering investigation would needed.

"We're probably already out about $70,000 in costs . . . Obviously the problem is not going to be easily fixed but I'm trying not to dwell on that too much," he said.

The Devitts' neighbours had evacuated their property for safety reasons.

Property owners are urged to continue to monitor their land for signs of any movement and asked to phone the council if they have concerns or questions about slips.