Hamish Fletcher

Hamish Fletcher is a business reporter for the NZ Herald

Oravida in High Court property fight

Oravida purchased the building, originally built as the Ports of Auckland's head office in 2011. Photo / NZ Herald
Oravida purchased the building, originally built as the Ports of Auckland's head office in 2011. Photo / NZ Herald

Oravida is in a High Court stoush with a lease-owner over a balcony it installed at its downtown Auckland offices.

Oravida, a distributor of New Zealand products to China, has made headlines in recent weeks after it claims it received an endorsement from Justice Minister Judith Collins.
In 2011 Oravida purchased a building at Auckland's Princes Wharf where its offices are now based.

While it owns the building, another company - Dockland Shed Leases - owns the sub-lease for the land at Princes Wharf.

Lawyers for Oravida Property (a subsidiary of Oravida) and Dockland both appeared in the High Court at Auckland today.

Oravida's lawyer, Stephen Hunter, said there was a dispute over whether or not a balcony the company constructed at the Princes Wharf offices materially changed the exterior appearance of the building and therefore required Dockland's consent.

Oravida installed the balcony without seeking this consent - because it did not believe this was required - but shortly before it was finished Dockland obtained an interim injunction in the High Court, which had the effect of halting the work.

The court heard today, during Hunter's submissions to Justice Christopher Toogood, that Dockland could not consent for the balcony partly because then other tenants on the wharf would want a balcony too.

Oravida is applying this week to have the injunction set aside.

Following the injunction being obtained, Oravida discussed buying the lease from Dockland for $250,000, the court heard.

Hunter this morning contended that Dockland's "agenda" in obtaining the interim injunction was really motivated by its desire to sell the lease.

During the hearing, Oravida director David Wong-Tung told the court about a September 2013 meeting between himself and Dockland directors Brian Fitzgerald and Mark French after the injunction was obtained.

Wong-Tung said it became apparent during this meeting that its purpose was for Dockland to make clear that the solution to the balcony problem was for Oravida to purchase the lease from it.

The meeting finished very quickly after that, Wong-Tung said.

- NZ Herald

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