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Confidence In Invergarry Road Properties Restored

8 August 2005

Latest Independent Report Should Further Restore Confidence In Invergarry Road Properties

A second independent report on the properties at 32 and 34 Invergarry Road has just been released as part of the on-going study of properties in Invergarry Road. This latest report does not attempt to draw any conclusions as to the cause of the subsidence at Crown Road. However, it concludes that the surveyed subsidence profile is not expected to cause damage to the houses in Invergarry Road.

A BRANZ report prepared for the same independent studies concluded in March this year that there was no evidence of damage to properties at 32 and 34 Invergarry Road beyond normal wear and tear. These two properties had been purchased on the advice of Contact and Taupo District Council experts as being allegedly the most affected.

The second (geotechnical) report was written by Opus International Consultants - one of New Zealand’s most experienced geo-technical firms with specialist knowledge of subsidence effects - under contract to BRANZ – the building industry’s leading research provider. BRANZ has reviewed and endorsed all findings in the report prepared by Opus.

From this second report, in combination with the first BRANZ report, it can be concluded that there is no abnormal damage to the properties and no evidence that subsurface effects are causing such damage.

Contact welcomes these findings as it is hoped that the conclusions and observations of the Opus report should help significantly to restore confidence in the area and put the property owners’ minds at rest.

Contact remains committed to its long-standing promise to accept responsibility for any property damage that occurs as a result of its deep geothermal extraction activity for the Wairakei geothermal power station, approximately 15 kilometres from the properties in question.

“Contact is funding a range of jointly agreed technical studies to allow conclusions to be drawn on the existence or cause of property damage related to subsidence. We are heartened at the growing body of independent expert, technical opinion suggesting that the early conclusions may have been unfounded,” David Thomas, Contact’s General Manager, Operations said.

“We hope that these findings, along with Contact’s continued commitment to put right any damage found to be a result of its activities, are helping to restore confidence and economic value to this part of Taupo,” said Mr Thomas.

Contact is also funding ongoing, jointly agreed monitoring of shallow subsidence occurring in a non-residential area of Crown Road, near the intersection of Invergarry Road.

The BRANZ studies have been conducted on a completely independent basis and have been commissioned by Contact BRANZ with the agreement of Taupo District Council, Environment Waikato, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (which has maintained a watching brief on the matter) and Invergarry Road residents.

Contact is funding the study.

BRANZ will undertake further long term monitoring of the two properties including wider area levelling surveys, floor level surveys and further assessment of the condition of the buildings. At the suggestion of Taupo District Council, BRANZ has also been commissioned to undertake studies in respect of some other buildings in the area. Contact has also agreed to fund these independent studies.

ENDS

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