Rob Kidd is a NZME. News Service court reporter based in Auckland.

Building charges against TV presenter dropped

Miriama Kamo and Michael Peter John Dreaver previously pleaded guilty to four charges under the Building Act. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Miriama Kamo and Michael Peter John Dreaver previously pleaded guilty to four charges under the Building Act. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

A judge has slammed Auckland Council staff after two employees published unprofessional comments on Facebook regarding a prosecution against Miriama Kamo.

Building charges against the TV presenter were dropped this afternoon at the eleventh hour despite her earlier guilty pleas.

She admitted she and her husband were "naive" when making changes to their Waiheke pad between 2009 and 2014.

But after speaking with his superiors Auckland Council prosecutor Vernon Tamatea withdrew charges this afternoon.

No further explanation was given.

But after fining Kamo's husband 49-year-old Michael Peter John Dreaver $4462, Judge Claire Ryan highlighted an "unfortunate" incident involving the council.

She said two staffers posted comments about the court case online.

Miriama Kamo's house consisted of two yurts - Mongolian tents. Photo / Natalie Slade
Miriama Kamo's house consisted of two yurts - Mongolian tents. Photo / Natalie Slade

"If you're in enforcement or inspection you have to know just as public figures can be judged, so too can [council staff]," the judge said.

The lack of privacy on social media meant others might question their "objectivity and common sense".

An Auckland Council spokeswoman said: "We are aware of the judge's comments regarding social media. Council has reminded all staff of its policy to ensure responsible use of social media."

She said the charges against Kamo were dropped because her husband had accepted overall responsibility and provided information to the court which minimised her involvement.

Kamo -- who hosts TVNZ's current affairs show Sunday -- previously pleaded guilty to three charges under the Building Act in relation to the property where they were married last year.

Dreaver applied for a discharge without conviction but Judge Ryan said the minor black mark against his name would be unlikely to affect his future endeavours.

The court heard the couple eventually planned to open up the address to artists and low-income families for retreats.

"It just kept evolving and we just didn't pay enough attention basically," Kamo said.

The charges came about because someone complained to Auckland Council in April and charges were eventually laid some months after two council inspections.

Her husband Dreaver, a consultant and Treaty of Waitangi negotiator, bought the property with Kamo in 2006 for $650,000, a year after they met at a boxing match.

The charges related to building work that happened some years after the purchase of the lifestyle block, much of which was related to the wedding.

The pair admitted unlawfully installing a pot belly stove as well as a "yurt" -- a circular hut originally used as temporary shelter by nomadic Mongolians.

The most recent building work in July 2014, which also took place without consent, saw a shed converted into a "recreation/reading room" and the addition of a veranda.

A shipping container was transformed into a kitchen and a second-storey sleeping area was annexed to the property also without Auckland Council approval.

Despite the saga, there was no suggestion it had made relations frosty between the Grey Lynn-based couple.

"We're married," Kamo previously told the Herald. "At the end of the day, Mike and I own the land and whoever made the decisions and if anything comes about in our married life we both take responsibility."

Julian Marcadere Davis, who carried out the building work, was fined $1800.

- NZ Herald

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