3 Dec 2012

Council accused of being too slow over Botany homestead

8:48 pm on 3 December 2012

A builder who fought to protect an historic Auckland building that burnt to the ground over the weekend says Auckland Council ignored pleas to help save it.

The 114-year-old Guy homestead in Botany, near Pakuranga, was destroyed in a suspicious fire on Saturday.

It has been the target of vandals and rough sleepers since it was sold to foreign owners 15 years ago. It is listed for sale at $3.5 million.

Registered builder Nick Neben has worked with the local Howick board for years to try to protect the house.

Mr Neben says Auckland Council wasn't interested in helping out, because it couldn't see any financial benefit.

Police and fire investigators are still trying to track down a person seen running from the house before it went up in flames.

Howick Ward councillor Sharon Stewart says the homestead's destruction is disappointing for the local community.

She says Auckland Council was approached months ago to do something about the homestead, and it should have acted more quickly to protect it.