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Building Co. Unauthorised Works Attract Large Fine

Media Release
2 May 2005

Building company's unauthorised works attract large fine

Manukau City Council today successfully prosecuted a building company for carrying out unauthorised works on a Bucklands Beach residential building site.

The director of Homestyle New Zealand Limited failed to appear in the Manukau District Court on 30 March 2005, and the matter was set down for a hearing by way of formal proof this morning. The director was not in court this morning.

Judge Harvey considered the Council's evidence and Homestyle New Zealand Limited was found guilty for undertaking building works otherwise than in accordance with a current building consent and for failing to comply with a Notice to Rectify. Homestyle New Zealand Limited was convicted and fined $5000.00 on each offence.

Mr Bryce Leckie, Team Leader of the Council's Building Enforcement says, "the work was carried out with a total disregard for the protection of the adjoining properties insofar that the 2m deep excavation exposed the footings of a block retaining wall located on the east boundary (seen on the right of the attached photograph)".

The builder undertook unauthorised excavation on the site that resulted in the construction of a retaining wall 1.8m high. The retaining wall was not provided for in the building consent and, further, was inadequately constructed and unsupported. The concrete foundation slab for the proposed dwelling was also not in accordance with the building consent.

The Council issued a Notice to Rectify to the owner of the property and the builder requiring, among other things, the retaining wall to be immediately protected and supported from weathering, and a building consent to be obtained to erect retaining walls to support the excavated wall. Homestyle New Zealand Limited failed to comply with the requirements of the Council's Notice to Rectify.

"Manukau City Council is taking a hard-line approach against any builders, developers or property owners who insist on breaching the provisions of the Building Act, Building Code, or the Council's District Plan requirements", says Mr Leckie.

Under the Building Act 2004, the maximum fine is $200,000 or $20,000 for each day or part day the offence continues.

The Council understands the owner has since engaged a new builder to undertake and complete the works in accordance with the Council's requirements.


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