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Large fines for illegal building work

Media Release
5 February 2007

Large fines for illegal building work

Fines and costs of more than $31,000 for illegal building work on a Papatoetoe house are a serious reminder that owners and builders must get council consent, says Manukau City Council.

The fines follow T P Field Developments Limited, Taito Phillip Field and Afano Tosoni pleading guilty yesterday at Manukau District Court to offences under the Building Act. There were two charges against each party for carrying out building work without consent.

The building work involved converting a garage into a family room and converting a carport into a double garage at Alexander Avenue in Papatoetoe. The property is owned by TP Field Developments of which Mr Field is a director. Afano Tosoni carried out the building work.

The fines are as follows: TP Field Developments Limited ($10,000 fine, $1017 legal costs, $130 court costs), Taito Phillip Field ($10,000 fine, $1017 legal costs, $130 court costs), Afano Tosoni ($8500 fine, $1017 legal costs, $130 court costs).

In sentencing Judge Harvey said the penalties should send a message to homeowners that they must comply with the law. The building work was permanent and substantial, he said. “It can’t be escaped it was a rental property used by Mr Field.”

The judge said Mr Field knew a building consent was required for the work after receiving council advice and an information pack.

The judge also said that as a builder Mr Tosoni should have been aware of his obligations and received confirmation that a building consent had been obtained.

Manukau City Council Compliance and Enforcement Manager Kevin Jackson welcomed the court’s backing of the council’s tough stance on illegal building work.

“This is a reminder that Manukau City Council takes breaches of the Building Act very seriously and will prosecute in serious cases. We have to ensure building works meet a minimum standard of safety and design for the public.

“The fines are a reminder that homeowners and builders should come to the council for advice before building then follow that advice. Not having the right consents can cause a lot of problems and be expensive.

“Property owners should remember they are ultimately responsible for any development work on their property, so it’s important to get it right,” Mr Jackson says.

He says Manukau City Council investigates any cases that come to its attention, through a complaint from the public or in another way.

“The same process is followed in all cases, it doesn’t matter who the complaint is about.”

Anyone considering building should contact the council’s call centre on 262 5104 or check out the website www.manukau.govt.nz.


© Scoop Media

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