Kmart site under microscope

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Queenstown’s council is conducting a follow-up investigation into the troubled Queenstown Central construction site.

The resort’s new Kmart store, part of the $100 million first stage of the Frankton Flats retail development, opened last month after a two-week delay due to construction problems with two buildings.

Lead contractor Dominion Constructors Ltd was hit with a ‘Notice to Fix’ by the council in August, after several vital steel bars between the buildings’ foundations and concrete wall panels were cut by a worker.

Council comms officer Rebecca Pitts says all issues raised have now been resolved with the full cooperation of Dominion.

But the council continues to investigate what went wrong and alleged breaches of the Building Act.

The investigation is “focused on how the potential breaches may have occurred”. Council inspectors finally signed off on the buildings Certificate of Public Use (CPU) the night before Kmart opened, on October 18.

The council’s not willing to give further details about the alleged breaches of the 2004 Act until the investigation’s complete.

It’s expected to last about three months.

Meanwhile, some tenants looking to fit-out their stores have faced delays of more than a month and still haven’t been given a new hand-over date after their initial hand-over certificates were unexpectedly withdrawn.

Queenstown Central Ltd project manager Simon Holloway says the investigation relates to the original problem.

He says all completed buildings have CPUs and all current works comply with the act and resource consent. Dominion’s South Island construction boss, Grant Thomas, didn’t respond before deadline.

joshua.walton@scene.co.nz