The Council has an online GIS system that shows property boundaries. The GIS system shows an indicative boundary line. It is fairly accurate in most cases, but in some instances a professional survey may be required to define the exact location of the boundary. You will need to contact a private surveyor to carry out this work. Council does not undertake surveys of private properties.
Many people wrongly assume their fence marks their legal boundary. This is often not the case and what you think is your land may be your neighbour’s or what you think may be your neighbour’s land could be yours.
Sometimes a slip will be on Council road reserve land. This is the area of land around roads that is owned by Council to keep the roads and footpaths operating. Your property will most likely border road reserve and you may have structures on it.
If you have a private asset on or crossing road reserve, such as a footpath to your property, a driveway, a garage, a wall or fence, it should have been consented or approved by the Council and it remains your responsibility to maintain and repair. Check with your insurer about what can be insured on road reserve. In the case of a slip it will be your responsibility to reinstate the private asset on road reserve.
If the slip is entirely within Council land and does not cause any damage to private land, then fixing the slip is our responsibility. We’ll decide what action is required.
If the slip comes from Council land and affects private land, then both parties will need to be involved to work out a resolution. The Council may or may not be responsible to repair it.
Earthquake Commission (EQC) responsibility
The EQC is a New Zealand Crown entity which provides insurance to residential property and invests in natural disaster research and education. If your home is insured, you may be covered by EQC for a natural landslip. You’ll find a good summary of what’s covered by EQC on its website here.
In general, the current EQC advice is that EQCover insures land that is part of your land holding and:
Cover does not include any artificial surfaces like concrete or asphalt that cover the access way.
Any EQC pay-out is intended to remediate the damage claimed for and it’s important you keep the Council informed of any assistance you receive.
For more information go to the EQC website or call them on 0800 DAMAGE (3260243)