The real estate watchdog is gunning for a high-flying agent's licence, saying his repeated infringements prove he was only motivated by lucrative commission money.
But West Auckland agent Aaron Drever - who was earning more than $1 million a year in sales - denies being motivated by money and is pleading for one last reprieve.
Drever fronted a penalty hearing today before the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal having admitted a misconduct charge linked to the 2013 sale of three West Auckland homes.
He has now notched up nine separate adverse disciplinary decisions, more than any other agent.
Prosecutor Claire Paterson told the tribunal Drever's extensive disciplinary history showed he had a cavalier attitude to his professional obligations. The Real Estate Agents Authority believed his licence should be cancelled to protect the public from further offending.
"Despite five years of regulatory intervention the defendant continues to demonstrate the same cavalier attitudes to his clients and consumers.
"The defendant either lacks insight into the causes or effects of his repeated breaches of his professional obligations, or has clearly demonstrated an inability to comply with them, in the sense that he has gone on ... to recklessly breach the same rules again and again."
The tribunal heard that Drever had sold well over 500 homes in his career, making him one of the country's best-selling agents.
He had an annual earning capability of $1.1 million and was losing around $91,000 each month he was out of work.
Taking the stand, Drever accepted responsibility for his repeated failures, but blamed the sheer volume of sales work for his mistakes and a lack of supervision while working for now defunct RE/MAX franchise Hedgman Realty.
He told the tribunal he was effectively doing the work up to 12 salespeople and had slipped up nine times during the course of tens of thousands of transactions.
"I'm not proud of those mistakes. Absolutely, I don't want to be sitting here."
Fellow prosecutor Kate Lawson-Bradshaw said if Drever was too busy, he could simply have taken on fewer listings.
"I put it to you that you're more concerned about getting a quick sale and taking the commission," she said.
"You're assuming my motivation is money," Drever replied. "I like money, don't you? But it's not my motivation."
Drever told the hearing he had been "bastardised" in the media.
"My whole career and commercial reputation has been destroyed."
He had voluntarily suspended his licence pending the tribunal's decision on his fate and was undertaking refresher real estate courses.
Drever's lawyer Ray Parmenter argued cancellation would be unfairly excessive. He called for a suspension of up to two years and a fine.
"There is no element of dishonesty involved in the admitted charge, or in Mr Drever's disciplinary history.
"All Mr Drever has, for the earning of a living, is real estate work. He has no other qualifications; he has no other experience."
A further two-year suspension would effectively cost Drever $2.65 million, which Parmenter described as a heavy toll.
"Cancellation, with no light at the end of a tunnel, would see a punishment of cruel proportions."
The tribunal reserved its decision.