Tragedy ... The wrecked house where a woman was killed
yesterday afternoon after a landslip at Marahau, near
Motueka. Photo New Zealand Herald
Police have released the name of the woman who died when
a landslide engulfed her home near Kaiteriteri yesterday
Jude Hivon (63) died when her house was demolished in a huge
landslide in the Tasman district,
Neighbours tried frantically to find her before emergency
Firefighters had to walk about 500m to reach the flattened
house on Kaiteriteri-Sandy Bay Rd in Marahau, near Motueka,
after the slip about 1.15pm yesterday.
"The slip came down, absolutely demolished the house and
smothered the occupant in dirt," said a Marahau volunteer
firefighter. "It was a disaster zone - demolished, one wall
The firefighter said rescuers did their best to recover Ms
Hivon but "it was all in vain".
"They finally managed to recover the person involved and
administered CPR, but unfortunately it was too late."
Motueka Fire Station chief fire officer Mike Riddell said Ms
Hivon may have cried out to her rescuers.
They had yelled out to her to see if she was there. "They
believe they may have heard someone yelling but then it
Neighbours had already tried to rescue Ms Hivon, who was the
sole occupant of the house, and found her body partially
submerged in the mud.
Police said the 200m-long landslide had hit the rear of the
house after 18 hours of heavy rain in the area. One wall and
the roof were all that remained.
The matter has been referred to the Coroner.
Mr Riddell, who arrived at the scene with another Fire
Service crew a short time later, said emergency services were
hindered by other slips that had blocked roads around the
He said the region had been saturated by more than 200mm of
rain since Saturday. Other houses close to the destroyed home
had been evacuated as a precaution.
A local said Ms Hivon had rented the cottage from Seifried
The slip came as bad weather slammed the country, causing
flooding and road closures in the South Island and cutting
power to homes in Auckland.