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Whole lot of bother over hole

Carol Murray demonstrates the size of the hole on her Hessey St property – stick out of the ground [below], then [above] plunged into the ground. PHOTOS/SAM TATTERSFIELD

Talks ahead with MDC

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Carol Murray noticed a hole in her garden on Saturday.

Her neighbours in Hessey St have noticed similar holes, and there’s a dip in the road a block away.

Based on those things, and the way the ground was cracking, she thought it could be a sink-hole and after trying several services and agencies to no avail, she is now at an impasse with Masterton
District Council.

Her biggest worry is that the hole will collapse, and someone will get hurt.

She had to go to a geotechnical engineer from Whanganui, after a local one didn’t answer the phone.

Her insurer AMI tried to organise a drainlayer, but they wouldn’t take the case, she said because “it’s a liability – if they do anything to secure the ground and it falls in then it’s their responsibility”.

She said she’s fully insured, but AMI still haven’t been able to work out whether she’s covered for a hole appearing in her garden.

She went to Greater Wellington Regional Council, who said it was a serious issue, but MDC were the body to help her.

Murray said the council “didn’t want anything to do with it”.

A council spokesperson said they “have limitations to undertake any maintenance works on the private property”.

The spokesperson said a council officer visited the site on Tuesday, and confirmed there was “a small ‘sunken hole’ on the property”.

They suggested the cause of the hole could be a leak in a private pipe or rotten tree roots and said Murray should call a contractor to work out the cause and remedy, if necessary.

Murray says that she’s seen 1940s and 50s photographs which show no trees in the garden.

Since the Times-Age looked at the hole, Murray said the council had taken a renewed interest, organising a visit to her property on Friday morning.

They confirmed it was not a water issue, and a meeting has been organised with her today to try to resolve the issue.


  1. I can remember in Moreton Road Carterton something similar happening, built on and old tip…. house had to be moved etc… I knew the couple who owned the house they told me the story, since passed on… just hope this home is not on an old tip…in Hessey St. Masterton. Council can pay for checks not house owners.

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