A disgraced real estate agent who was earning over $1 million a year in commission will now have to find a new profession after being stripped of his licence.
Aaron Drever has practised real estate in West Auckland since he was a teenager for at least three different agencies. He was one of the country's top selling agents while working for Ray White's Pure Realty franchise in Kelston.
But the once high flying salesman, who has sold over 500 homes, has lost his career after the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal cancelled his licence in a just-released decision.
Drever has amassed nine adverse disciplinary finding in the last few years, including two misconduct findings and seven of unsatisfactory conduct - the worst record of any New Zealand agent.
He has been repeatedly warned to lift his game, with one previous decision stressing action needed to be taken against him to protect the public after he was found to have pressured a female client to withdraw another complaint against him - labelled "tantamount to blackmail" by a Real Estate Agents Authority committee.
Drever appeared before the tribunal last month for a penalty hearing after admitting his latest indiscretions in connection with the sale of three West Auckland homes, one of which included telling a client to "shut your mouth".
During that hearing, he pleaded for one final chance, arguing his offending, which occurred while he was employed by RE/MAX's now defunct Hedgman Realty in Glen Eden, was the result of lack of supervision.
He also blamed his high workload, claiming he was selling so many houses he was effectively doing the work 12 salespeople and had only slipped up nine times in the course of tens of thousands of transactions.
Drever's new lawyer, Ray Parmenter, told the tribunal his client, who was also the "voice of speedway" and cares for his dying father, was losing $90,000 a month in commission while under voluntary suspension and had an annual earnings capacity of $1.1 million.
"All Mr Drever has, for the earning of a living, is real estate work. He has no other qualifications; he has no other experience."
But REAA prosecutors called for Drever's licence, saying his extensive track record of offending proved he was both reckless and cavalier in his attitude towards clients and not fit to be an agent.
They also argued he was only motivated by making quick sales in order to pocket his next commission.
In the just-released decision, the tribunal agreed Drever's history was such that the only option left was cancellation of his licence.
It said the principal purpose of the Real Estate Agents Act was to promote and protect the interests of consumers in real estate transactions and promote public confidence in the profession.
"We do not accept that any lack of supervision, management oversight, or systems within an agency ameliorates Mr Drever's conduct to any great extent. If those were lacking, Mr Drever could have made a complaint to the Authority in respect of the manager concerned. We do not accept that, for any reason, Mr Drever was unable to comply, or was prevented from complying, with his obligations under the Act and Rules.
"Rather, his conduct over the course of several years shows that he ignored those obligations. His wish to maintain an income, and the fact that (at the time of some of the charged conduct) he may have been trying to leave an agency, do not provide a satisfactory explanation for his conduct, and it does not excuse it.
"Put simply (and as was submitted on his behalf), Mr Drever took on far too much business, and he failed to ensure that there were back-up systems to manage the business he had taken on.
"Finally, Mr Drever's repeated plea that he had been inadequately supervised and managed indicates that he failed to take responsibility for his conduct, and failed to comprehend what was required to remedy the situations."
The sheer number of charges Drever had faced and the fact he had been ordered to complete training courses on three separate occasions, on three different aspects of the profession, meant the tribunal had "grave concerns" about his competence to carry out real estate work to the standard required by the industry, and his commitment to avoiding further breaches.
The tribunal ruled Drever was not fit to work in the profession and cancelled his licence. It also ordered him to pay $3000 towards the REAA's costs.
REAA chief executive Kevin Lampen-Smith said the tribunal's decision was appropriate, given Drever's history of unprofessional behaviour.
"The highest sanction available to the Tribunal is to cancel someone's license, and they have done so in this case.
"Our role is to ensure that home buyers and seller have confidence in the industry and one of the ways we do this is by holding the industry to account for its actions.
'This penalty sends a strong message to licensees that they need to act with honesty and integrity so that New Zealanders have confidence that when it comes time to buy or sell a property they can trust the agent they are dealing with."
The penalty means that Drever is prohibited from holding a licence for at least five years. After that he could apply for a licence but would need to satisfy the registrar at that time that he was fit and proper.
Drever did not respond to requests for comment.