Two Roxburgh residents have discovered an unforeseen consequence of last year’s Roxburgh flood – they have “lost” a 3m-wide strip on each of their properties.
When Milica Sale’s Tweed St property was flooded on November 26 last year, her garage was damaged and later demolished.
She assumed, as she was insured, there would be no problem replacing a garage close to the original position, near her property’s back boundary.
Her insurance company was happy to replace it.
But Ms Sale and her neighbour, who did not wish to be named, thought their boundaries finished beside the Reservoir Creek concrete channel that ran parallel to Tweed St.
However, following an engineer’s visit, they were told about a discrepancy.
It seems they never owned the 3m-wide strips, despite Ms Sale having a glasshouse on hers, which was there when she bought the place.
She was initially told the strip was administered by Land Information New Zealand (Linz) and would have to pay a $200 fee to the department before she could have her new garage and glasshouse built in the original position.
Ms Sale is reluctant to carry out any restorative work on the garden and lawn until she gets her new garage as a digger will be required to do the foundation work.
“I don’t want to sound whining, but that took the wind out of my sails,” she said.
However, when Fix-it System owner John Grant, of Alexandra, who represents Tower Insurance for the rebuild and is overseeing the flood repairs for Ms Sale and her neighbour, queried it, Linz said it was not on its asset register.
“Otago Regional Council owns the water, the CODC owns the concrete channel, Doc administers the 3m strip on 6 Tweed St and Linz appeared to administer the strip of land on Milicia’s property,” Mr Grant said.
However, after talking to Colliers International in Queenstown, which administered Linz land, he was told in an email that the strip “is not currently on Linz’s balance sheet and Linz would not be able to provide any consent until they could confirm it was Crown land administered by Linz”.
They intend to have a status report completed to confirm it is theirs, and once that was signed off by the Commissioner of Crown Lands, then Linz could sign off on the garage’s location.
As at Monday, he had not heard back.
He said, depending on who owned the strip, there was also the issue of who would pay for any replacement boundary fence and whether it would be sited on the 3m boundary or along the concrete channel.
“And who is responsible for the current fence, which is in a poor state following the flood, [and also has been set in concrete] and is not a boundary fence?” he said.
Teviot Valley Community Board chairman Raymond Gunn said while the council knew the strip of land on the neighbour’s property did belong to Doc, there was some issue about which government department owned the strip beside Ms Sale’s land.
He had heard that similar boundary issues occurred on other properties in Roxburgh.
The board wanted the issue clarified and it had been discussed at a recent meeting.
Doc operations manager for Central Otago district Mike Tubbs said it was a common situation for land administered by the department to adjoin freehold property.