The 150 owners of the Nautilus Building in Orewa can now begin fixing their apartments – after the Auckland Council yesterday agreed to pay most of a $25.07 million award against the council and other parties.
Trevor Corin – chairman of Nautilus’ body corporate – said it had been a hard road for apartment owners – many of whom were semi-retired or retired – who had endured six years of hardship after discovering issues in 2009.
‘To get this outcome everybody will be relieved and it means we can get on and fix our building. Everything going well we should be able to start work early next year’ Mr Corin said. He said it would be two years before most owners’ lives were back to normal.
The High Court at Auckland awarded $25.07 million to the owners of the 12-level Nautilus Building on April 29 this year.
The judgment held that the council, builders Brookfield Multiplex – Walkers Architects and local water-proofing company Charles Norager Ltd were liable.
With the builder and architect in liquidation – the council has been left responsible for paying the full amount – minus a small amount for some allegations the court did not find the council liable for.
Said Mayor Len Brown: ‘We have a liability to pay forthwith’.
The council yesterday instructed chief executive Stephen Town to take all necessary steps to recover some of the money from the other parties.
Building control claims manager Sally Grey told councillors it was ‘inaccurate”‘that the lawyer for the apartment owners – Tim Rainey – had offered the council a settlement of $15 million six weeks before the trial.
Mr Rainey yesterday stood by his claim – saying the offer was not made six weeks before the trial – but in February last year – six months before the case. ‘They made their decision and chose to take it to trial and that didn’t work out so well for them’ he said.