Trust hut inquiry causes a few blushes for chief exec

DEENA COSTER
Last updated 05:00 28/02/2014
hut full

An inquiry into three huts near Lake Rotorangi has concluded the roof does not comply with the Building Act.

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A council chief is red-faced after a investigation found buildings owned by the family trust he belongs to did not comply with legislation.

An inquiry into three huts near Lake Rotorangi, which are owned by South Taranaki District Council chief executive Craig Stevenson and other members of the trust, has concluded the roof does not comply with the Building Act and needs to either be removed or improved to come up to standard.

To do this, a resource consent will be required because of the building's proximity to the lake.

The investigation, which was completed yesterday, was launched after council received a complaint from a former employee about the structures.

Mr Stevenson said the trust was not aware of any non-compliance issues before the investigation but accepted the council's findings.

"Given the remote location and nature of the structure the trust members didn't think there would be any problems, however, now that the council has determined there is, the trust will ensure it is made fully compliant," he said.

Mayor Ross Dunlop said council officers had visited the site this week to check the "three small recreational huts" following the complaint.

He said two of the huts were erected by a previous owner of the land and the other by a charitable community trust for at-risk youth.

The trust had added to the huts by joining them with a covered deck.

Mr Dunlop said council would not normally be concerned about these types of buildings unless they had to respond to a complaint.

He said the trust had been fully co-operative with the council and the investigation in no way undermined Mr Stevenson's role at the council.

"Mr Stevenson has been very careful to declare an interest and has taken no part in handling the complaint," he said.

"The complaint, and council's investigation, has been treated in exactly the same manner as it would for any other building owner."

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