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$30,000 fine a message for property developers

Media Release
11 June 2008

$30,000 fine a message for property developers

A fine of $30,000 handed out to an experienced property developer sends a message that it is important to keep to plans on building consents, says Manukau City Council.

Last month City Link Properties Limited and its director Sean Wood were found guilty under the Building Act for unconsented building works and failure to comply with a Notice to Fix. Mr Wood and his company were fined $30,000 and ordered to pay court costs of $3000 in the Manukau District Court.

City Link Properties was granted a building consent based on plans to extend an existing house. The company submitted a plan to build an upstairs bedroom with ensuite and a four car garage. Instead five rooms were built upstairs and part of the garage was turned into a living area - leaving room for only two cars.

_Manukau City Council Compliance and Enforcement Manager Kevin Jackson says he is pleased with the sentencing as the building work was over and above what was originally submitted.

“People can’t put in one set of plans to the council then do something completely different and hope to get away with it. I am disappointed that this was an experienced property developer who knew the rules but chose to break them.

“Building consents are there for a reason; to ensure building works meet a minimum standard of safety and design for the public, future tenants or owners,” says Mr Jackson.

During sentencing Judge Tremewan was told that Mr Wood is a professional property developer who gives seminars to the public on property development issues. The judge said that Mr Wood’s seminar attendees should be aware of the difficulties that he had got himself into. She also noted that it is important the penalty gives a message to the building industry and the public that allowing work to be done without proper consents will be taken seriously.

Judge Tremewan also noted that the council hadn’t been given the opportunity to assess plans and specifications of the works before construction began or to check the works during construction.

ENDS

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