Christchurch property manager apologises

8:45 pm on 15 March 2012

A Christchurch property manager has apologised for refusing to appear before the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission during its investigation into the collapse of a gift shop facade that killed a woman.

Luke Rees-Thomas did not turn up to the hearing two weeks ago because he was not given the required 10 days notice.

A director of Knight Frank Real Estate, Andrew Bell, says he instructed Mr Rees-Thomas, his employee, not to front because he had not been given enough time to properly prepare his evidence.

The commission questioned Mr Rees-Thomas about why a detailed inspection of the OK Gift Shop on Colombo Street was not completed before the February quake.

Mr Rees-Thomas revealed a miscommunication between himself and building inspectors after the September quake meant the inspection was not done earlier.

He says some of his communication was verbal, which could have led to the confusion.