$130,000 council payout will settle seven-year pottery battle

An Avondale man has received $130,000 in settlement of a seven-year dispute over a pottery collection.

Richard Quinn complained that the Waitakere City Council disputed his right to remove some of his pottery items from the historic kiln in Ambrico Place, New Lynn, and instead it removed them to secure storage.

Mr Quinn was also upset that the council had accused him of trespassing at the kiln and called the police to remove him.

Last December, Ombudsman Anand Satyanand found that while the decision to have Mr Quinn removed from the kiln was of "dubious merit," the council had made genuine efforts to resolve matters.

A special subcommittee of councillors Ross Dallow, Derek Battersby and Daphne Freeth was formed in December to try to negotiate a settlement.

Mr Quinn had his treasured pottery returned in March and full settlement was reached last week. The council's chief executive, Harry O'Rourke, last night confirmed the settlement of $130,000 and an offer to pay Mr Quinn's legal costs.

But Mr O'Rourke said that although the cost of the whole dispute was yet to be tallied, it was unlikely to be as much as the $250,000 suggested, which included removal and storage fees for the collection.

Mr Quinn was prevented from commenting last night by the terms of the settlement.

Instead, a statement to be agreed by the parties will be issued this week.

The Mayor of Waitakere for nine years, Bob Harvey, said he was reluctant to say too much. Over many years, many people had tried to resolve the matter and he was surprised it had been settled by chequebook.

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