Auckland Council to pay $25m after losing leaky building case

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Auckland Council has been ordered to pay more than $25m to property owners after it lost a case involving the leaky Nautilus apartment tower in Orewa.

The Nautilus building in Orewa

Following a six-week trial in late 2014, High Court judge Justice Murray Gilbert ordered the council to pay compensation to owners with interests in the 150-unit building, which has been plagued by a number of construction defects since its completion in June 2004.

Issues with the building included a lack of water-tightness in the structure's roof, cladding and balconies.

The council was deemed liable in place of the now defunct Rodney District Council, which issued code compliance certificates for the building based on statements provided by the head contractor, Australian-based Brookfield Multiplex, which is now in liquidation.

The court found RDC was aware that Brookfield had prevented independent monitoring of the construction, and had then developed the statements without suitable third-party input, falsely claiming their standards complied with relevant Building Code requirements.

The litigation was conducted by Auckland firm Rainey Law, in conjunction with Christine Meechan QC of Bankside Chambers.

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