Ex-mayor's $10m leaky suit settled

A $10 million-plus leaky-building claim lodged by former Wellington mayor Kerry Prendergast and other residents in a luxury Oriental Bay apartment block has been settled on the eve of what was to have been a three-month High Court case.

A hearing of their lawsuit against Mainzeal Property and Construction, James Hardie New Zealand, Wellington City Council, ISP Consulting Engineers and architecture firm Hunt Davies Tennent was to begin on Monday.

Lawyer Dan Parker, who was acting for the 12 Bay Point apartment owners, said he could not discuss the case beyond confirming the settlement had been reached after mediation.

"The owners are happy to have the matter resolved with the outcome so everyone can move on and get the building fixed."

The claim was for repairs, consultants' costs, legal costs and general damages.

One of the residents and former body corporate chairman Robert Gray said the residents were now looking forward to getting the work done.

The 12-apartment complex, across the road from Freyberg Pool, was completed in 2004 and is also home to former Telecom chief executive Theresa Gattung.

Ms Prendergast and property developer husband Rex Nicholls bought their fifth-floor apartment in 2002 for $1.73m. The apartment's rating value is $2.8m.

Ms Prendergast was not willing to detail the faults with her apartment but said "it's been very traumatic and emotionally distressing living in a leaky home".

"It's a relief to have settlement. As you will be aware, I was involved in negotiations on behalf of local government with the Government on the leaky-homes issue, never realising I was living in one myself. During that time I got a really good feel for the absolute devastation, both financially and emotionally. I have first-hand experience of that."

She expected it would take another year for repairs to be done.

Contact Hank SChouten
Property reporter
Email: hank.schouten@dompost.co.nz

The Dominion Post