Prop­erty devel­oper in­ves­ti­gated again

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - JAMES PASLEY

A mil­lion­aire prop­erty devel­oper is un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion for al­ter­ation work be­ing done on an Auck­land prop­erty that does not match what was con­sented.

Auck­land Coun­cil said two abate­ment no­tices had been served in May to Donghua Liu for ma­jor al­ter­ations to his 2300sqm prop­erty on St An­drews Rd, in Ep­som.

He bought the prop­erty in 2012 for $3,406,000. It has a 2014 rate­able value of $3,550,000.

The coun­cil no­tices re­quired Liu to stop any work con­tra­ven­ing the re­source con­sents that had been ap­proved.

Along­side coun­cil’s in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Liu was re­cently found guilty in Auck­land’s En­vi­ron­ment Court for ex­ca­vat­ing a basalt stone re­tain­ing wall in New­mar­ket with­out con­sent.

Auck­land Coun­cil’s com­pli­ance man­ager Steve Pearce said while there was re­source con­sent for al­ter­ations on the St An­drews Rd prop­erty, the work done ap­peared dif­fer from what was con­sented to.

The prop­erty was in a spe­cial char­ac­ter area and re­source con­sent was re­quired for sig­nif­i­cant de­mo­li­tion or new con­struc­tion, he said.

‘‘We are cur­rently in­ves­ti­gat­ing the un­con­sented works and con­sid­er­ing what fur­ther ac­tion is ap­pro­pri­ate,’’ Pearce said.

Pearce did not say what the work out­side the con­sent was.

Al­bert Eden Lo­cal Board mem­ber Lee Cor­rick alerted coun­cil about the prop­erty.

She said it ap­pears the build­ing was slowly be­ing de­mol­ished.

‘‘It ap­pears to have sub­se­quently been com­pletely de­con­structed, with a dif­fer­ent build­ing emerging in its place.’’

Pearce said Liu would need ad­di­tional con­sents to carry out un­con­sented work, but con­struc­tion could con­tinue as long as it com­plied with ex­ist­ing con­sents.

In Oc­to­ber 2014, Liu was fined al­most $20,000 for breach­ing the Re­source Man­age­ment Act and the Build­ing Act for the Ep­som prop­erty and an­other in Re­muera.

Liu be­came a New Zealand cit­i­zen in 2010 with the back­ing of for­mer cus­toms min­is­ter Mau­rice Wil­liamson and then-Auck­land mayor John Banks.

He also made head­lines when he was charged with as­sault­ing his wife and her mother in 2013.

Wil­liamson quit as min­is­ter as a re­sult of that case, af­ter it emerged he made a call to po­lice af­ter Liu’s ar­rest for the al­leged vi­o­lence.

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