12 Jul 2017

Auckland rest home missing compliance certificate

11:50 am on 12 July 2017

The owner of an Auckland retirement village with substandard apartments says it has been beset by poor project management and poor corporate governance.

Eastcliffe Retirement Village

Eastcliffe Retirement Village Photo: RNZ / Laura Tupou

Leaky building inspections at Eastcliffe Retirement Village in Ōrākei have revealed structural and fire protection failings in a vacated block.

Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei Whai Rawa, which owns the retirement complex, has since decided to relocate 34 of its 160 residents from five other blocks, built by the same construction company, as a precaution.

Director, Ngarimu Blair, said following investigations it appeared there was no code compliance certificate issued by the council.

The lack of the certificate from when the blocks in question were built, between 2002 and 2005, complicated who they may take court action against for liability, he said.

"I doubt it would be against the council [because] they didn't sign it off. If it was against the builders, well, they're probably long gone."

Home Owners and Buyers Association president John Gray told Morning Report that this kind of claim would have to be made within 10 years.

"The horse has bolted, you know, no one will be able to be brought to account unless there was some form of criminal remedy available.

"But that means we would have to see loss of life before that can happen."

Mr Blair said it was now becoming clear the village project had been beset by poor practices, poor project management and poor corporate governance.

Mr Blair said he did not know who the builder was.

More than one main contractor was involved at different stages of the phased development.

It is understood the faulty block did not have the right amount of steel framing in the walls, and lacked two layers of fire-retardant gib between units.

While it is an offence to sell your house without a compliance certificate, this would not apply when someone was taking up a licence to occupy a unit in a retirement village.