Nature Video

By Mikey Jones

These gardens are under real threat of being swamped by the ocean.

A row of houses in Haumoana, a town on the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, is being dramatically reclaimed by the sea.

Pic by Tim Whittaker/Caters News 

Video of a tide with a strong swell shows the waves crashing over walls and sea defences and into people’s gardens.

In some cases the white froth even manages to sweep across homeowners’ balconies, with some of them just left looking on.

The people living in the houses are in a difficult position. They need to move, but their homes are uninsurable and therefore almost entirely impossible to sell.

 Pic by Tim Whittaker/Caters News 

The footage was shot by photographer Tim Whittaker from Hawke’s Bay in July 4.

Tim, 52, said: “I knew this area was vulnerable and I heard that big swells and tide would be rolling in, so I went to check out how bad it is.

“It’s a ‘King Tide’ with a strong easterly swell.

 Pic by Tim Whittaker/Caters News 

“That forces the waves to smash into the homes.

“About two metres of beach and shoreline was washed away in this event.

“It’s not usual, and it’s getting worse. The last time something this bad happened was two years ago.

“I understand that some of the residents are going to have to move but that is tricky. At the moment some of the houses are uninsurable.”