Auckland City Council v Zhao [2019] NZDC 12831

Published 23 July 2021

Sentencing — undertaking building work without consent — ignoring notice to fix — risk of harm to tenants — Wilson v Fowler HC Auckland AP 203/98, 16 March 1999 — New Zealand Building Code — Building Act 2004, ss 168, 381 & 389. The defendant appeared for sentence for carrying out building work without consent. He had created a two-bedroom flat adjoining his property and then ignored repeated directions from the Council to remove it. The building work was of poor quality and potentially hazardous to the flat's tenants. The Court observed that the defendant was solely responsible for the non-consenting building work, more than three years were given to comply with the Council's directions but he refused, he had gained income from the non-consenting building work and he had avoided paying the extra rates and development contributions that go with establishing an additional dwelling on a single dwelling site. Given the need to deter this type of offending and the defendant's poor attitude, the Court set a start point for fine of $15,000 and uplifted this by another $15,000 to reflect the defendant's profiting from flouting his obligations and the ongoing nature of the offending. The fine was $30,000 plus court costs of $130, and the Court ordered that the offending building work be removed within one month of the judgment. Judgment Date: 12 July 2019.