Nautilus judgment marks milestone ruling against Auckland Council
Prominent Auckland-based specialist litigation firm, Rainey Law, has won a landmark defective building decision against Auckland Council, in Body Corporate 326421 & Others v Auckland Council (CIV 2009-404-8136).
Following a six-week trial in late 2014, High Court judge Justice Murray Gilbert has ordered Auckland Council to pay in excess of NZD$25 million to the numerous owners with interests in the 150-unit, Nautilus apartment tower in Orewa, North of Auckland.
Since its completion in June 2004, the Nautilus tower has been plagued by a number of construction defects, compromising the water-tightness of the structure’s roof, cladding and balconies.
Auckland Council was deemed liable in place of the, now defunct, Rodney District Council (RDC), which issued code compliance certificates for the Nautilus building based on a series of questionable statements provided by head contractor, Australian-based Brookfield Multiplex, now in liquidation.
The Court found that RDC was aware that Brookfield had deliberately prevented independent monitoring of the construction process, and had then developed the statements without suitable third party input, falsely claiming their standards complied with relevant Building Code requirements.
Tim Rainey, partner at Rainey Law who represented the owners at the High Court hearing says, “The number of parties involved and the issues at stake made this an extremely complex case. It was much, much more than a typical leaky building dispute, so we are delighted to have created a favourable outcome for the Nautilus residents.”
Rainey Law partnered with Christine Meechan QC of Bankside Chambers in securing this result.