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House demolition begins in Nelson

Friday 21 Sep 2012 7:36 p.m.

By Rachel Tiffen

The first flood-damaged home has been demolished in Nelson as part of major work to re-build the Nelson-Tasman region after it was swamped by record-breaking floods nine months ago.

Owner Julia Carr spent a large amount the house’s renovation and couldn't face seeing her multi-million dollar pride and joy crushed, so escaped to Auckland.

“I'd put so much time and effort and love into it," she says. "It's just easier not to see it happening."

But others were glued to the action, some, perhaps, fearing their home would be next.

When Ms Carr bought the house in 2003 it was worth $305,000, and $215,000 of that was land value. Four years later that capital value had jumped to $780,000, with the land value at $690,000.

And last year, before the floods hit it was worth $1.1 million all up, but the land value had dropped back to $520,000.

Now the entire property's worth just $50,000 and all of that is land value.

When the rain came, and kept coming last December, it wiped out the retaining wall above the house.

“The kitchen, the laundry and the dining room were just all full of landslide,” Ms Carr says.

It's the first flood-damaged house to be knocked down but won't be the last, Nelson City Council’s Alec Louverdis says.

“We've got 35 section 124 notices that have been issued.”

But as in quake-damaged Christchurch, progress is slow. And it is slowed further by bad weather as the region has had 10 wet weekends since December.

Mr Louverdis says there is still plenty to do.

“There's about 20 or 30 jobs that will commence over the next financial year.”

The biggest is a $1.5 million project to patch up Cable Bay.

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