Auckland Council demanded urgent action and issued a "stop work" notice which remained in place for three months on one of New Zealand's biggest new apartment projects.
Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding said the council issued the notice in April - covering the 246-unit project in the Epsom/Greenlane area - and it lasted for three months.
"This related to observation, quality assurance and documentation issues with erection of structural steel by the contractors on both buildings A and B. The notices were provided to both Auckland Trotting Club and the contractors Ganellen and Canam," she said.
"The three-month duration of the stop work notice and issues pertaining to this are the subject of a legal dispute." Dowding said the notice lasted from April 6 until July 3.
The notice was subsequently lifted and Dowding said the council was satisfied.
"Responsibility for the imposition of the stop work notices and adequacy of documentation provided by Ganellen and Canam is the subject of legal disputes between the parties," said Dowding.
Loukas Petrou, the managing director of Canam Construction NZ, said late last month that it had stopped work at the site and claimed the company was owed money.
Dowding said there were agreed dispute resolution processes in the parties' contracts, to deal with issues such as the stop work notice.
"[Auckland Trotting Club] is working through those processes. While doing so, ATC is not prepared to ventilate the disputes publicly. ATC remains confident it has discharged all of its compliance obligations in respect of the structural steel. There are no issues with the integrity of the structural steel," she said.
One unit buyer expressed concern about the project, saying delays had caused issues for the purchase of an apartment costing nearly $2 million. The Alexandra Park project has been dogged by late delivery.
Asked about the stop work notice, Peter Maneas, Ganellen chief executive, said: "I'm limited by confidentiality with respect to the details you have requested, but I can assure you that all works are being carried out in accordance with all relevant New Zealand standards and codes".
Referring to the two builders who were working on the site, Canam's Petrou said: "The council issued the stop work notice to the trotting club for both projects at the same time.
"The stop work notice lists the specific reasons as to why it was issued and was certainly not because of Canam, but due to the lack of inspections ... It has taken the trotting club three months to lift the stop work notice, causing further significant delays and costs for which Canam is claiming."
Council documents show the stop work notice was issued by Allan Rich, senior building surveyor for central field surveying. He wrote to Dowding on April 6, saying: "all construction work on the super structure steel needs to cease immediately".
Rich noted that a condition of the building consent was that construction was monitored by a chartered professional engineer. "You have not been able to provide the site observations to date even on request and accordingly we are unable to confirm that adequate engineer's site observations have been undertaken ...
"Urgent action by you is needed to remedy this breach of the building consent condition."
Dowding said steel from China was being used on the job and was subject to robust quality assurance measures. Although there had been delays, she said, the trotting club had not "raised the contract price" of apartments as others had, and it appreciated buyers' patience.