By PHILIP CHANDLER
Queenstown ratepayers are forking out tens of millions to repair a dodgy Frankton Road
apartment complex signed off by a previous council.
Owners of the 41-unit Oaks Club Resort, built in the late 2000s, had sued the council and other parties, however they settled days before a scheduled court case two months ago.
Body corporate chairman Graeme Kruger notes the terms are confidential, but says ‘‘the defendants would not have settled if they did not believe our case was strong’’.
He says unit owners are delighted because the amount their body corp’s getting from the settlement, plus pending government leaky-home financial assistance, will allow their units to be fully repaired.
That repair bill’s estimated to be between $40 million and $45m.
Kruger says the main defects were the lack of compliant fire rating and ‘‘some weathertightness issues associated with the water proof membranes on the deck’’.
Unit owners front-footed be tween $8m and $10m to identify those defects and for some preliminary repairs.
Kruger says two units were deconstructed along with some bathrooms.
Holes were also drilled and investigative camera work undertaken throughout the whole building.
The evidence, if you piled it up, ‘‘probably stands five feet high’’.
‘‘This has been a very stressful process for owners who did not anticipate they would have to endure this when they purchased in such a premium part of New Zealand.
‘‘They want nothing more than to get the building to its intended standard for a lakefront development in Queenstown.’’
As a result of the settlement, Kruger says owners ‘‘are now in a position where they can refinance for the money they’ve had to put in’’.
His body corp’s appointed a remediation committee which will engage experts to finalise the plans and appoint a building contractor.
Work’s expected to start in the second half of next year.
Court case still pending over Oaks Shores
Oaks Club Resort’s the third Frankton Rd apartment complex built by Invercargill-based Ross Wensley — whose development company went bust — to experience problems.
The 24-unit The Point had to be totally rebuilt — in 2010, the council stared down a $3.8m leaky-home lawsuit brought by owners.
The nearby 84-unit Oaks Shores has also had similar defects to Oaks Club Resort.
One 20-unit block’s been repaired, work’s underway on a second, and the other two will be fixed by 2024/’25.
Government leaky-home money’s being used as work proceeds.
In the case of this complex — which has an estimated repair bill of $120m — its body corp’s also suing the council.
A court date’s been set for February 7, 2023.
In the Oaks Club Resort case, council CEO Mike Theelen confirms he can’t disclose the financial settlement reached with the body corp due to a confidentiality clause.
‘‘We obviously are aware there are future similar claims pending, and the council will, as always, endeavour to minimise the cost to the community in these types of cases.’’
Concerning the Oaks Shores claim, he comments: ‘‘Obviously, we’ll continue to defend that.’’
However, he says under current law ‘‘it does become more difficult where often the council, particularly as the passage of time occurs, is the only party left having to defend this.
‘‘That’s something no council particularly enjoys, but our job is to defend the cases as rigorously as possible and to minimise any costs.’’
He adds: ‘‘I’m certainly confident our current regulatory/inspection regimes are up to a very high stand ard.’’’