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Construction work halted

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

BUILDING UNCERTAINTY: Unpaid bills are facing several business owners, including Placemakers Waiheke owner Lee Stickland, after Mainzeal Property and Construction went into receivership. Mainzeal was awarded the contract to build the new community library in Oneroa last year.

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"It could have been worse."

Placemakers Waiheke owner Lee Stickland is one of several island business people out of pocket following Mainzeal Property and Construction going into receivership on Waitangi Day.

Mainzeal was awarded the $5.1 million 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.

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.

Mr 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 says he is owed several hundred dollars, the concrete plant owned by Fletchers and Waiheke Concrete Contractors whose owner Wayne Clarke says he's lost $3000.

"It's lucky it happened before we got too far with it," Mr Clarke says.

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

Waiheke Local Board spokeswoman for the library, chairwoman Faye Storer says: "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."

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