Leaky-building owners win a round in court

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 06:33 13/12/2013
St Pauls Apartments
ROSS GIBLIN/Fairfax NZ

LEAKY BUILDING CLAIM: St Paul's Apartments in Thorndon.

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The $20 million leaky-building claim lodged by owners of Wellington St Paul's apartments is set to go another round after a High Court victory for their body corporate.

The court has ruled that owners of 20 apartments were not time-barred from joining the claim.

It has also ruled that 21 apartments, which are managed by the Quest hotel chain, cannot be excluded from the claim because they were designated residential when they were built in 1998 and 1999.

The four-building complex, which includes 114 apartments, is across the road from Old St Paul's Cathedral in Mulgrave St and part of it fronts on to Pipitea St.

It is believed to be Wellington's biggest leaky-building claim and Wellington City Council, which issued code compliance certificates for the complex when it was built, is first defendant in the action. Other parties named in the claim are Tullow, D J Larkham, M A Ebert, Opus International Consultants and S J Roofing.

The body corporate chairman, John O'Connell, welcomed the High Court ruling. "It was very favourable to the owners, but it's only part of a very long process we are going through."

He said they were following mediation procedures set down by the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

There had been a confidential meeting this week which he was not allowed to discuss and the matter had been adjourned to the middle of next year. "There's a long way to go yet."

Mr O'Connell said there were systemic problems with the building. It was leaking from the roof, there were design problems and there were problems with the fixing and sealing of concrete and zinc cladding.

It was uncertain how long it would take to fix the building but "it's not a short fix".

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- The Dominion Post

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