Confusion at The Lakes

Lakes Boulevard properties are still off limits.

Lakes Boulevard residents evicted from their homes by Tauranga City Council remain confused about when they will be able to return.

Initially they were removed at short notice because of a potential danger presented by Cyclone Hola.

When the floods and high winds didn’t eventuate, the residents were still prevented from returning.

Residents says they are also being prevented by the Tauranga City Council from repairing a retaining wall as ordered.

The council presented home owners with a legal Notice to Fix three days before Christmas, which expires in June.

The owners have spent considerable time and energy negotiating the paperwork and retaining the required experts, reports and plans to build the retaining wall that is at issue.

One resident, who doesn’t want their name used, says the council is saying two things.

They says they’re being told they have no consent for retaining, when property owners do have consent and three of the houses are fully compliant.

Council staff also said the site levels have changed, that is also incorrect because they had them surveyed for the retaining job, says the owner.

“It’s very convenient for the council to point the finger at Bella Vista because they are out of the picture, but there are a lot of questions about what the city council has and hasn’t done,” says the owner.

All the problems will go away on the site when the retaining and drainage is complete, yet the council is not allowing the owners to put those basic safety features in place, says the owner.

Tauranga City Council’s chief executive’s group general manager Kirsty Downey says the council acted on expert advice that emergency works were needed on three of the buildings at the former Bella Vista development.

She says they also had advice from a geotechnical engineer that an unretained slope was at risk of failure in heavy rainfall, which potentially puts all properties at risk.

Council acted responsibly in issuing a warrant under s129 to evacuate the dwellings, as the safety of residents is our paramount concern, says Kirsty.

 “The steps required under the s129 warrant are ongoing, including further engineering assessments. Engineers have been onsite again this week, and we hope to have detailed information from them in the coming days. Once we have that we will work with owners and residents on the next steps.”


16 Comments

Wrong again Murray

Posted on 23-03-2018 08:45 | By maildrop

The vast majority, if not all, took possession without Code of Compliance. That was their choice. If they didn’t have new build insurance, that was their choice. If they had followed those two simple, sensible paths, then all would be sorted and paid for by the appropriate people. The victims are ratepayers now paying to put them up. I do not like being the underwriter and guarantor for other people’s short cuts. You are just electioneering and pick on every TCC story. Go away.

@ Capt_Kaveman

Posted on 22-03-2018 22:14 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Yes indeed and that move is some 10 years late already, no sign of improvement visable ex Wellington as yet.

again

Posted on 21-03-2018 23:33 | By Capt_Kaveman

why the govt needs to step in and boot them all out

@ Told you

Posted on 21-03-2018 18:16 | By MISS ADVENTURE

never loose sight here of the simple fact that teh organisation of TCC and in particular the management will do anything and everything to preserve their patch. If that means spending millions on consultants for no useful purpose then that si what they will do and have done for years. It is how they survive as fair or foul as it is.

@ Kaimai

Posted on 21-03-2018 16:58 | By MISS ADVENTURE

They are making it up as they go, its often referred to as "knee-jerk" reactions, the latter part being the key element at TCC.

Over Paid

Posted on 21-03-2018 16:35 | By Told you

As far as Im concerned the TCC is employing people that are not qualified in their jobs.Why is it nessary to be engaging consultants all the time instead of doing the job they are being paid for. It looks like a good pruning of staff is called for.

I don;t think the expert advice is wrong

Posted on 21-03-2018 13:16 | By tish

I think relying on expert advice provided by the Council is wrong, their process is the one at odds here and the owners will surely have been consulting with independent engineers and surveyors. Nothing independent about Council owned "experts".

A dangerous slope...

Posted on 21-03-2018 13:09 | By morepork

... (no, I don’t mean the one that TCC staff are currently on...) is discovered, AFTER Codes of Compliance have been granted? This is a heartbreaking mess for the owners concerned, a paperwork mess for TCC, and another financial mess for Ratepayers who have to bale them out. The very least we should expect is for the people concerned at TCC to get the required permits for repair expedited, and get the families back in their homes ASAP. If there is a slip danger that was previously unnoticed, the Council should be attending to that as a top priority, so the other work can proceed. Priorities, not paperwork, is what is needed here.

Sack em all

Posted on 21-03-2018 12:24 | By chatter

The Government needs to step in here - sack everyone at TCC including Councillors.Lets get back to grass root basics of what a local Council need to concentrate on - NOT handing out hard earned rate payers money to any outfit that thinks they deserve a funded building just for their own select private group gatherings OR personal epitaphs of Museums / Library that will end up being concrete monoliths to their egos.It is also painfully obvious there are too many staff without the knowledge for the role in which employed, hence the reason it is too easy for them to send the work & responsibility off to overpaid consultants - if this is the case, why are they employed in the first place.Time to start some culling - big time...

@ Murray.Guy

Posted on 21-03-2018 10:42 | By MISS ADVENTURE

That is the half truth of it all, you have really understated just how bad it all is. The activities of TCC are deliberate and creative to self jsutify extraordinary activities and expense. There is no justification at all, never was. They are now on a track that is spirally out of control and they can not get themselves off it without significiant liability falling back on them i.e. Ratepayers. They are in full noise self preservation mode.

@ Johnney

Posted on 21-03-2018 10:31 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Dont forget, that all adds to teh looming massive rates increase also.

Confusing

Posted on 21-03-2018 10:26 | By Kaimai

So consents and compliance can be revoked? Should every ratepayer be concerned that their certificate of compliance can be revoked or just new builds or just the Lakes builds or just Bella Vista builds? How does a notice to fix that expires in June seem to "expire" in March. Someone needs to do some explaining here.

Expert advice

Posted on 21-03-2018 10:24 | By Johnney

Council relying on expert advice. Here lies the problem these days. Too many highly paid, no liability expert consultants on the gravy train resulting in a looming train wreck

Maildrop, read the articles(s)

Posted on 21-03-2018 09:53 | By Murray.Guy

The property and homeowners are the victims here, and they are NOT alone. The occupied homes ’have been signed off by Tauranga City Council’. With the passing of time information is coming forward that clearly implicates Tauranga City Council (building permit & inspection processes). I am aware of disputes between builders and the City Council which have seen nearly completed homes ’sit for over 12 months’ while owners dream,ms become nightmares, in The Lakes and elsewhere in our city. Unfortunately we have a dominant mindset at Tauranga City Council that doesn’t accept accountability, that will spend obscene amounts of our scarce rates money on consultants and lawyers to cover up, divert attention.

here we go again

Posted on 21-03-2018 07:55 | By old trucker

TCC dont care about the STRESS they are causing these families TCC know that they are wrong and those long words before Kirsty Downey is rubbish its just a STATUS thing and has too much power and needs a bottom smack, how old was that geotechnical engineer, for crying out loud,i understand that its been given OK to put in retaining walls, BUT TCC WONT LET THEM,my thoughts are get a class action against TCC, so you can get back in, thet TCC could not care less about you and your little families ,especially when they have been signed off to live in, why cant that person that signed that off be NAMED, and then FIRED over this MESS,hangon he works for TCC and is being covered by his nest of DO GOODERS, this is very unfair my thoughts only on this subject,TCC know they are wrong andDONOTCARE,

Their responsibility

Posted on 21-03-2018 06:54 | By maildrop

Why are ratepayers putting them up in hotels? From what I understand they took possession before Council had given the Code of Compliance. Where is their new build insurance? It looks to me like the homeowners have jumped the gun, not taken out the insurance that covers builders going rogue, and now expect me to bail them out. Always the same, people cut corners and then hold their hand out. Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

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