'I think the Budget's helped, but what sits behind that is a strong economy' - Bill English on poll boost

National has been given a boost in the latest 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton poll result. Source: 1 NEWS



Heavy framework at Christchurch construction site falls onto crane

Part of the framework for a building under construction in central Christchurch has collapsed on top of a crane working at the site.

Emergency services, including two fire crews, St John and police, were called to the scene at the corner of Antigua St and Tuam St at around 3.55pm today.

Everyone has been accounted for at the site and there are no reports of injuries at this time.

Emergency services have notified Worksafe New Zealand of the incident.

Luckily no one was injured in the incident today on the corner of Antigua St and Tuam St. Source: 1 NEWS

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

Owner of quake-damage Wellington office block ordered to pay back thousands to family found living there

The owner of a Wellington office block that was demolished following the Kaikoura earthquake have been ordered to pay back nearly $7000 in rent plus damages to a family who had been living there for months.

The building was deemed unsafe after a large support was damaged by the 7.8 earthquake on November 14. Source: 1 NEWS

The Tenancy Tribunal has ordered Prime Property Group Limited to pay back $6900 of rent, exemplary damages of $600, and the $20 filing fee to the tenants of its property at 61 Molesworth Street after an investigation by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

An evacuation of the building after it was damaged in the November quake led to suspicions people were living in the building, said MBIE's National Manager Tenancy Compliance and Investigations, Steve Watson.

The Molesworth St building is a commercial building. We caught up with people who say they've been paying $300 a week to live there. Source: 1 NEWS

The investigations team immediately began investigating the property given its known use as a commercial premises, and discovered a family had been living there since June 2016, Mr Watson said.

In March this year, MBIE applied to the Tenancy Tribunal for an order on behalf of the tenant against Prime Property Group, stating the tenancy was prohibited under the Act because the building could not lawfully be used for residential purposes.

"Regardless of the landlord's intentions, charging $300 a week to live in an office space is unlawful," said Mr Watson.

"It is a prime example of taking advantage of someone who is in a vulnerable position.

"The exemplary damages cost reflects the extent of the health and safety risks faced by the tenants, and the fact that the landlord should have known better.

"This decision sends a strong message to landlords that the penalties are high if you are caught renting commercial property to tenants." 

Due to the building's earthquake prone status, investigators could not enter to establish whether the landlord was compliant with the smoke alarm requirements that became law in July last year, Mr Watson said.

Crowds are gathering behind the cordon as the building's demolition continues. Source: Breakfast

The 61 Molesworth Street building has since been demolished.