Anne Gibson

Property editor of the NZ Herald

Claws are out in luxury CBD tower

Power struggle between Metropolis body corporate and Concerned Owners Group over issues such as pets.

Sally Synnott and Roger Apperley. Photos / Brett Phibbs
Sally Synnott and Roger Apperley. Photos / Brett Phibbs

Owners of apartments in Auckland's five-star Metropolis tower are pitted against one another in battles which have ranged from cat-keeping to who sits on the body corporate.

Residents in the 412-unit, 40-level high-rise say a power struggle has erupted, as a group of residents try to hold sway on the influential body corporate committee against the new Concerned Owners Group.

Tony Howard, body corporate chairman and group member, said some people were at loggerheads.

"You'd have to say there are some factions but the impression that I get is this is just a small group that's involved," he said referring to long-standing committee members.

Body corporate meeting minutes reveal unhappiness over many issues, including whether resident and body corporate member Mira Oh - who owns several Metropolis apartments - can keep a cat when all pets are banned.

"You're not even allowed a goldfish," one resident told the Herald.

Mr Howard said yesterday the cat remained in the building.

Optometrist Roger Apperley chaired the body corporate for some years, sitting alongside multimillionaire Peter Francis, Pumpkin Patch founder Sally Synnott, John Morris, John Carter and building manager Dave Burgess.

At an AGM on May 1 residents expressed strong views and a further meeting was held on May 8.

Level 34 apartment owner and Concerned Owners Group member John Chung Ching Chen this month took action against the long-standing committee by seeking an interim injunction to stop the six distributing what he said were defamatory and untrue statements against him.

Justice David Collins dismissed the application made by Mr Chen's lawyer Julian Miles, QC, but did not rule out further action.

If Mr Chen truly believed he had been defamed, he had the option of seeking a remedy in damages, the judge said, describing how the group was unhappy with how Metropolis was being run.

Metropolis

* NZ's tallest apartment tower.
* 1 Courthouse Lane, Auckland CBD.
* Developed by Andrew Krukziener.
* Marketed as five-star accommodation.
* One-bedroom units sell from $279,000.

- NZ Herald

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