Kirsty Wynn

Kirsty Wynn is a senior reporter at the Herald on Sunday.

Million-dollar house feud

Family heads back to court as dispute over property sale drags on.

Trevor Gregory at the disputed Pt Chevalier house. Photo /  Peter Meecham
Trevor Gregory at the disputed Pt Chevalier house. Photo / Peter Meecham

An exclusive seaside mansion at the centre of a heated quarrel between a retired couple and their son is still off the market - despite a High Court ordering a swift sale.

The troubled case around 44 Wright Rd in the seaside Auckland suburb of Pt Chevalier is expected back before the court this week.

Trevor and Sue Gregory bought the property with their son Michael and his wife Simone in 2005 for $1.513 million and it is estimated to be worth about $2.3m on today's market. The older couple wanted to sell and the younger Gregory couple wanted to buy it, but they could not agree on a price. Trevor Gregory said it was only fair the property went to auction.

Earlier this year, the elder Gregorys took the younger couple to court because of disagreements on everything from the reserve price; what should happen if the property was passed in; who the real estate agent should be; and how the property was to be prepared for sale.

Last month, Justice Kit Toogood released a 23-point court order, including that the auction be held at the waterfront address on a Saturday to coincide with high tide.

He ordered a sign be erected outside the property on or after May 5, with colour photographs of it.

Yesterday, Trevor Gregory said his son had been "obstructive" and had still not signed the sale paperwork.

"I believe he is trying to delay things so the auction is in the middle of winter," he said.

"He wants to pay as little as possible for the property."

Trevor Gregory also believes the couple want to advertise the faults of the property, he assumes, to bring down the price.

"He is trying to get an unsigned building report added to the listing. It is not accurate," Trevor Gregory said. The report seemed "orchestrated," he said.

"If there are so many problems with it why does he want it? He wants it at the right price."

Trevor Gregory said his son had banned access to the deck that showed the view and said the floor in a room was unsafe.

"We are unhappy because we are not getting a full open home."

A lawyer acting for Trevor Gregory is due at the High Court tomorrow to address the issues.

Between them, the two couples own three homes at the end of the quiet cul-de-sac, which provide expansive views over the Waitemata Harbour.

In 2011 the three houses were valued at $5.2m, but that was when prices had slumped.

Trevor Gregory said he was proud of his son, despite the property dispute, and hoped their once-good relationship was salvageable.

"This is a hiccup that needs to be sorted but I don't think it is a death-sentence," Trevor Gregory said. "I am hopeful things will get better."

Michael Gregory was not available for comment.

- Herald on Sunday

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