Timeline for the initial categorisation of properties within the Muriwai GHD geotechnical study area

This information was emailed out to property owners on Friday 11 August

Last Updated : 24 Aug 2023
Muriwai Timeline (1)

We’re writing to you today to provide you with the timeline for the initial categorisation of properties within the GHD geotechnical study area.

We recognise that this is a very anxious time for you, and our hope is that our engagement approach will provide you with information and awhi (support) that you need.

The questions that have been collated and sent to us are very useful, so thank you for contributing to them. We’ll answer as many of these as we can through these meetings.

Property categorisation

The draft GHD report will be provided to council shortly, and our geotechnical team will then do a property-by-property assessment to assign initial categories, based on the study findings. For many properties we will be able to do this rapidly, and in these cases initial categories will be communicated to individual property owners on Monday 28 August.

It’s important to signal to you now that some properties may have an ‘initial Category 1 / 2’ or ‘initial Category 2 / 3’ assigned. This is because some properties are marginal – there could be a possible site-specific engineering solution required but more information is needed to determine if it’s feasible. In these cases, an additional site visit from us will be needed.

These property specific visits will begin in early September and may take a couple of weeks to complete, depending on the number of properties that need this assessment. Our priority will be to get these done as quickly as possible and confirm the property as either an initial Category 1, initial Category 2 or initial Category 3.

We know this will be a frustrating extra step for these property owners – it feels like one more hurdle to get over. Our commitment to you since the geotechnical programme began was that decisions would be based on robust technical evidence. It’s critical for us all to have confidence that the right decisions are being made about the future of your home.

Why categories will be ‘initial’

We will email each individual property owner with a letter giving you an initial category. An ‘initial’ category is needed because the work by the Ministry for the Environment and Treasury to define the risk threshold is still in progress. Until this is complete, we can only give you an initial category. We’re hopeful the policy work will be completed shortly – and we’ll share information about this timeline as we know more. Ross’ video in our 10 August newsletter explained more about this policy work.

Property owners will be able to discuss this initial category with us if they disagree with it. We’ll share more information about how this can be done when initial categories are communicated to property owners.

Communications timeline

Tuesday 22nd August (6pm-8pm): community meeting, The Surf Club at Muriwai, 100 Jack Butt Lane
All members of the Muriwai community are welcome to attend this meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to provide updates on the categorisation and risk assessment processes and provide an update on the progress of the GHD study. At this meeting, we will explain how the placard review process and the categorisation process will work, so the next steps are clear for you. 

UPDATE: If you were unable to attend the 22 August community meeting at The Surf Club Muriwai, the video can be viewed online.

Monday 28 August: individual notification of initial property categories
We will be emailing each property owner with a letter to provide you with your initial risk category and, in confidence, a draft copy of the geotechnical results.

Where properties are assigned an initial Category 2/3, a member of our team will call you to explain your category. The reality of learning your home is initial Category 2/3 will be overwhelming for some people, and we want to ensure you get this information verbally, before receiving the formal letter by email. If you cannot answer when we call, we’ll send a text message asking you to let us know a suitable time for us to call back.

Tuesday 29 August: property owner presentation
This is an invite-only meeting for property owners within the assessment area. At the meeting, Ross Roberts and the wider technical team, and the GHD team will explain the findings of the GHD report so it’s clear for you. You’ll have an opportunity to ask questions, and we will also tell you how you can provide feedback to the draft report, if you wish. Information about the placarding process will be provided in more detail.

The meeting with be recorded and shared for those not in attendance.

Saturday 2 September: all day 1:1s
We’ll have members of the recovery team and GHD’s technical director in Muriwai all day on Saturday, and you’ll be able to book a time to speak individually with someone about your situation. We’ll have members of the geotechnical, regulatory, and social recovery teams available. Details of how you can book an appointment will be shared nearer the time. Virtual options will also be available.

Support available

A selection of agencies and council support will be available prior to the meetings (see list below). In addition, there will be an event on 30 August for all to attend. All events will take place at The Surf Club at Muriwai.



Agencies in attendance

Tuesday 29 August (affected property owners only)


  • Storm Recovery Navigators
  • NZ Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS)
  • Temporary Accommodation Service
  • Red Cross

Wednesday 30 August (all welcome)


  • Storm Recovery Navigators
  • Ministry of Social Development (MSD)
  • Temporary Accommodation Service
  • Mental wellbeing support with a Health Improvement Practitioner

Saturday 2 September

(affected property owners only)


  • Storm Recovery Navigators
  • TAS
  • Mental wellbeing support with a Health Improvement Practitioner


Storm Recovery Navigators will be able to assist people in connecting with different support services, including accommodation support, financial assistance, mental wellbeing support, and providing information from the Tāmaki Makaurau Recovery Office. 

MSD is able to provide information and advice regarding financial assistance and will have case managers onsite able to help people register for the NIWETAA fund if they are eligible. 

NZ Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) can provide information and advice on insurance matters and can assist with helping people work with their insurance company in dealing with their claims.

Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) are able to provide assistance with urgent accommodation needs.

Heath Improvement Practitioners can provide support for anyone who would like to talk about their experiences, and be provided with tools and techniques to help them cope with potential and/or experienced emotional distress.

Next steps

We hope the information provided in this email gives you a clear understanding of what the next month will look like for you regarding the categorisation process. Negotiations on the proposed Government buyout scheme for Category 3 properties have not concluded, but everyone involved recognises the urgency to provide certainty to property owners and residents.

As always, please reach out to us at muriwai@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz with any questions.

We know there is a lot for you to take in right now and you may be feeling overwhelmed. Talk to your family, friends, and neighbours about the information you’ve received, it helps to talk things through.

If you feel like you could do with some help with your physical and mental health and wellbeing call one of the numbers below to talk to someone:

  • Phone your GP or Healthline: 0800 611 116
  • Phone or text Need to Talk? on 1737 – trained counsellors are available for free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Further mental health support will be available throughout this process, and we will confirm details in future communications.

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