Mansion pool battle gets go-ahead


A high roller millionaire and a Queenstown construction bigwig are making a splash in court over claims over a mansion’s pool.

Wanaka’s James and Louise Manning believe they’re entitled to almost $700,000 in damages for defects to the swimming pool at their plush Lake Hawea home.

The pool was built by Edge Construction, under the project management of Triple Star, and waterproofed by Waterproof Structures Queenstown Ltd.

Manning Private Limited (MPL) – of which Louise Manning is sole director and shareholder – has made a claim against them.

A High Court judgment on an aspect of the case, released last week, details the claim.

‘‘MPL and the Mannings claim that there were significant defects in the way work was carried out in connection with the pool,’’ it reads.

‘‘[They claim] MPL, or alternatively the Mannings, are entitled to damages in the sum of $691,568 plus further costs as a result of the costs that will be incurred in rectifying those claimed defects.’’

Property developer James hit the headlines in 2013 after claims he’d bought the world’s most expensive cocktail at a Melbourne bar.

Manning was said to have paid more than $15,000 for the drink, which included shots from a bottle of 1858 Croizet cognac.

The same 1858 cognac was enjoyed by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Allies commander General Dwight Eisenhower on the eve of D-Day 1944.

Melbourne bar Club 23, part of Crown Casino, made the Guinness Book of Records for the cocktail, named ‘Winston’.

But Manning, a big gambler at the time, later claimed he’d never actually bought the drink as he was in dispute with Crown Casino at the time.

Lawyers for Triple Star and Edge, whose managing director is Queenstowner Peter Campbell, have already applied to the High Court for an order striking out the swimming pool claim.

They say they had a contract with Manning Investments Limited (MIL), not MPL which replaced MIL as registered owner of the Albert Town Road property.

But Justice Gerald Nation, in a judgment released earlier this month, says the case can go ahead.

Nation says it’s not appropriate to strike out the claim and the matters should instead be argued at a trial, should it go ahead.