Property developer investigated again
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.