6 October 2002
Australasian Property Holdings Ltd, listed in New Zealand but with a project in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, began drawing down its $A4.6 million construction facility on 26 September for stage 1 of The Escarpments project at Katoomba. The stage comprises 4 fairway villas, 8 terraces, refurbishment of the golf clubhouse, golfcourse & civil works.
Justice David Baragwanath reserved his decision in the Auckland High Court on Thursday on the application by Ngati Maru Iwi Authority for leave to appeal to the Court of Appeal against consent granted to Kiwi Income Property Trust for its Sylvia Park town centre project. The appeal is now down to earthworks, and the central issue was over cultural impact from damage to sacred sites, which the Thames-based iwi was unable to specify to the satisfaction of (now semi-retired) Principal Environmental Judge David Sheppard when he granted the trust consent to develop.
Interior Minister George Hawkins said the Government would establish a mediation service for owners of leaky homes to go to — prompted by industry & local body representatives into taking more than the previous zero action, as tough new insurance conditions looked set to close down much of the building industry. Mr Hawkins said after talks with the Insurance Council: “We do not believe the industry will grind to a halt as a result of insurance issues raised so far.” But although insurance action so far has been against specific independent building certifiers and related to future cover for this particular issue, it can knock such certifiers out of all business and could easily extend to other businesses. The next Government steps are to get a report on ways to ensure the building certification process works, and to ensure the regulatory process under the Building Act will stop leaky-building repetition.
Kiwi Income Properties Ltd, the manager of the Kiwi Income Property Trust, has started its $90 million redevelopment of the Northlands shopping centre in Christchurch. On completion by 2004, lettable area will increase from 20,785mÂ² to 40,700mÂ². Fletcher Construction Ltd has the main construction contract.
Housing NZ Corp has agreed to buy both Auckland City Council’s housing portfolios for $83 million — full market value of $31 million for the 129 ordinary units, but a 50% discount on the 1542 pensioner rental units on 50 sites. The discount takes into account that the pensioner sites will always be retained for social housing and that the corporation is committed to a fast-tracked redevelopment programme. The council said it would be relieved of $75 million of upgrades & maintenance costs over the next 20 years. The council is scheduled to approve the deal on Thursday 10 October. It’s due to go unconditional on 30 November, with settlement on 1 March 2003.
1 October 2002
North Shore mayor George Wood has urged people affected by leaky buildings to make submissions to the parliamentary select committee inquiring into the weathertightness of buildings. Written submissions & requests to be heard personally have to be lodged by Monday 21 October.