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Auckland company ordered to pay $180k over house demolition which went horribly wrong

A company has been fined $150,000 and ordered to pay reparation of $30,000 after a botched demolition in the Auckland suburb of Point Chevalier.

Quick Earth Moving Limited was sentenced at Auckland District Court yesterday over the demolition, which took place in December of 2017.

According to Companies Office records, the Director of the company is Ranchao Zhang of Flat Bush, Auckland.

On the company's website, it boasts of having "100% client satisfaction", but WorkSafe today described them as "completely out of their depth" and said it was lucky no one was killed in the incident.

Video captured of the demolition by a bystander showed a large wall being pushed over by a digger, which caused extensive damage to a neighbouring property.

The falling wall damaged the wall and ruptured a gas line, causing a leak which prompted an evacuation in the area.

The owner of the house is a woman who uses a wheelchair, and she was unable to evacuate until emergency services built a ramp for her to use.

The woman had contacted authorities numerous times before the incident, voicing serious concerns about the demolition going on next door.

Quick Earth Moving was ordered to pay the woman $30,000, as well as being fined $150,000.

Worksafe said in a statement today that the company had also failed to adequately investigate the demolition site for asbestos, or to put a plan in place for removing it before demolition.

Worksafe's Principal Advisor Asbestos Robert Birse said there was "a litany of failings" by Quick Earth Moving.

"The company should have hired someone with experience to identify whether asbestos was present and remove the asbestos before demolition commenced," Mr Birse said.

"Quick Earth Moving Limited failed to consult and co-ordinate with other businesses involved in the project resulting in the poor management of demolition risks and uncertainty around who was responsible for managing the risks.

"The company were completely out of their depth.

"There was no demolition management plan in place, inadequate risk assessment and workers were not provided with adequate training and procedures on how to conduct demolition.

"This demolition job was botched from the beginning and the company is extremely lucky no one was seriously injured or killed."

Quick Earth Moving was also ordered by the court to publish a summary of the offences they committed, the consequences, and the penalties on their website.