Leaky apartment work refused


A $14 million repair job on Queenstown’s troubled Greenstone Terrace apartments has hit a snag.

Work was meant to but Queenstown’s council is refusing to issue building consent for the first of four stages - a $650,000 job on four units.

Building control manager Peter Laurenson tells Mountain Scene it’s refusing consent because “it believes that compliance with all of the required building code clauses has not been demonstrated in the application to date”.

The apartments’ body corp has appealed to the Business Ministry for a “determination”.

Official council correspondence with repairs project manager Tony Dawson reveals a more terse tone from Laurenson.

In an undated email, Laurenson says the council has concerns about the internal moisture and ventilation systems proposed.

“The proposal to have a system somewhat less than optimal installed and to implement a process of body corp annual inspection thereafter pushing any responsibility for further remediation back to individual unit owners is not an acceptable risk to be taken for any party,” the email says.

He complains there’s been an attempt to exert a “substantial amount of pressure” on the council to change its position.

But that’s inappropriate, the email says, “without appropriate surety of performance”.

Greenstone bodycorp chairman Steve Wilde says the consent rejection’s not a blow.

“Everyone wants to make sure that we’re heading in the right direction including the council.

“It’s obvious we didn’t go charging off ahead in the beginning because we wanted to make sure we were going in the right direction.”

He says it would have been foolish to lump all the work into one consent, when all parties needed to be happy - not least of which the local authority.

All up, 75 units will be repaired. That comes after a legal settlement with the council, after contractor CivicCorp gave Greenstone building compliance in 2002.

In April, Wilde defended the $130,000 in consultancy fees he will earn over the repairs, saying he’s worked “basically full-time” on them for four years - and they’ll take another 18 months.