Sadly, it seems that one of the houses that has suffered the greatest damage is a small seaside cottage in Day's Bay, once owned by the Beauchamp family, where Katherine Mansfield (then Kathleen Beauchamp) used to spend holidays as a child.
A few years ago, I went on a Day's Bay literary walk, led by Don Long, who took us round to see a number of houses in the area owned by past or present writers. One of them was this wee cottage, and the owners kindly let us have a look inside. You can read more about the house on the New Zealand Historic Places Trust website.
Today's paper reports that it has been so badly pummelled by the waves, it may be a write-off.
Don commented presciently that "the waves still sometimes break against – virtually over – the house on Downes’ Point during storms." He explained that Sir Harold Beauchamp bought the land in 1906, and it was Kathleen’s "bolt-hole" from then until she left for London in July 1908, aged 19. Memories of it stayed with her forever and infused her writing of one of her most famous stories, "At the Bay". You can read it online here, thanks to the Katherine Mansfield Society.
On 4 March 1908, Kathleen wrote, “The sea has never seemed so high – so fierce. It dashes against the rocks with a sound like thunder.”