Construction company fined for illegal works
AUCKLAND CITY COUNCIL
Construction company fined for illegal building works
An Auckland construction company has been convicted and fined for carrying out building works in Mount Roskill without an approved building consent.
AVR Construction Limited was fined $12,000 in the Auckland District Court and ordered to pay costs totalling $280 for breaching section 40(1) of the Building Act 2004.
The company had carried out substantial building work on a four-level commercial and residential complex at 2 White Swan Road, Mount Roskill without a building consent.
Auckland City’s manager of residential developments, John Lawrence, says the conviction serves as a clear warning to others that breaches of the act are taken seriously by both the council and courts.
“It reinforces the obligations of both property owners and contractors to ensure that a building consent is sought for works prior to commencement. By obtaining consent you can be sure you are carrying out work in accordance with the consent conditions, associated plans and specifications,” he says.
In sentencing, Judge Whiting commented on the importance of obtaining a building consent for safety reasons.
In his ruling, Judge Whiting said, “In my view, it is important for the court to emphasise the need for those who engage in development work to have obtained the necessary consents before commencing that work. The Building Act was designed to ensure that there were safe work practices and that dangers to persons and properties was limited.”
The maximum penalty for carrying out work without a building consent is a fine of $100,000. If the offence is ongoing, the company or owner can face further fines of up to $10,000 for each day or part day the offence continues.
“Prosecution is always a last resort, but court action will be taken if people fail to comply because the council has a responsibility to ensure that building work is safe. The council endeavours to communicate clearly to property owners and contractors their obligations under the act to ensure they comply,” Mr Lawrence says.
He says some minor building work is exempt under the first schedule of the building act, and does not require a building consent but property owners should contact the council before beginning any work to confirm whether consent is required or not.
Mr Lawrence says the council is currently investigating a number of other sites for similar offences.
“These property owners or construction companies can expect prosecution by Auckland City should they fail to obtain a building consent before starting work,” he says.
Auckland City works to enforce all sections of the building act because it aims to encourage better practices in building design and construction resulting in quality building work that people can rely on.
For more information about building consents and how to apply, visit www.aucklandcity.govt.nz/buildingconsents or phone 379 2020.