Mainzeal collapse stalls Waiheke project

GILL ALCOCK
Last updated 05:00 13/02/2013
Lee Stickland
GILL ALCOCK/ Fairfax NZ

UNCERTAIN FUTURE: Several Waiheke business owners, including Placemakers owner Lee Stickland, are facing unpaid bills after Mainzeal went into receivership on Waitangi Day.

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The $6.6 million Waiheke Island project is in limbo and businesses are out of pocket after the collapse of Mainzeal Property and Construction.

Mainzeal was awarded the $5.1m contract for the new Oneroa library project by Auckland Council last September. 

A further $1.5m was added for resiting the rising water main and landscaping at the Artworks complex.

Placemakers Waiheke owner Lee Stickland is one of several island business people out of pocket.

Workers arriving at the site on Thursday morning were told to go home. Council officers visited later that day before issuing a statement that all work had been suspended.

Stickland is philosophical about the timing of the bad news.

''If it had been three or four months down the line I would have been donkey deep in it.

''It's disappointing for the community as they're not going to get the library they want yet.''

Other contractors who have lost out include Kevin Scott who said he was owed several hundred dollars, the concrete plant owned by Fletchers, and Waiheke Concrete Contractors whose owner Wayne Clarke said he was owed  $3,000.

''It's lucky it happened before we got too far with it,'' Clarke said.

''It's very unfortunate for the community though as it was a community project.''

Waiheke Local Board spokeswoman for the library, chairwoman Faye Storer, said: ''We are taking advice from council's procurement and legal teams who are standing by for further advice from the receivers.

''Obviously it's a very concerning situation. While the issue is being sorted out, the board and the council will make sure the entrance to the site is made good. If it has to sit there for a while, so be it, but we'll make sure it looks as good as possible.''

Meanwhile it is business as usual for a Waiheke Island winery caught up in the receivership issue.

Richina Pacific Ltd bought Te Motu Vineyard from the Dunleavy family and shareholders in 2011. Richina also bought the property formerly known as Isola Estate.

Richina is the parent company of Mainzeal Property and Construction which went into receivership on Waitangi Day. 

Chef Bronwen Laight said last Thursday morning she and her fellow workers were told to carry on as normal at The Shed restaurant at Te Motu Vineyard.

Winemaker John Dunleavy said he had been told the winery should not be affected.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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