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Building Act breaches cost $22,850

Media Release
19 April 2006

Building Act breaches cost $22,850

Three Manukau City residents have been fined a total of $22,850 for breaches of the Building Act.

Manukau City Council brought the prosecutions before the Manukau District Court recently, which a Council manager described as “a good example of Council’s commitment to prosecute when necessary.”

In one case, Judge Roy Wade warned that any further offending could see a 10-fold fine imposed on a woman fined $4000 for not having a building consent. In a second case he said – but for the limited means of the resident – a substantially higher fine than $6050 would have been imposed.

And in the third case – which involved a resident who has since moved to Australia – Judge Wade said he was “not impressed” by the defendant having left the country with the garage in a state of non-compliance.

He considered the defendant’s culpability was “very high” and imposed a base fine of $10,000 plus $10 per day for every day the offending continued, being another 253 days, bringing the total fine to $12,530.

The offences, in relation to the Building Act 2004, included:

- An unconsented spa pool and surrounding enclosure

- Failure to obtain a building consent for a horse stable, supporting posts to a deck and removing stairs to a deck, and

- Failure to comply with a Notice to Fix which required a Certificate of Acceptance for a garage

Kevin Jackson, Manukau City Council’s Manager of Environmental Health and Enforcement, says the successful prosecutions were good examples of Council’s commitment to prosecute serious cases of offending against the Building Act.

“These are reasonable amounts of money and, in two cases, could well have been higher but for the defendants’ personal circumstances,” says Mr Jackson.

“We don’t press charges lightly, but when we do we have a very good success rate. Manukau residents need to know they must comply with the various Acts and bylaws or face the consequences.”

Mr Jackson says council officers do not like initiating prosecutions and they are always prepared to be reasonable and give residents a reasonable opportunity to comply with Acts and bylaws.

“However, sometimes we are forced to press charges when there is no effort being shown by the person that they are prepared to play by the rules,” says Mr Jackson.

The Collections Department of the Court pursues the payment of fines. Manukau City Council received 90% of the fines imposed.


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