Briscoe Group managing director Rod Duke and wife Patricia have lodged Environment Court proceedings against Auckland Council over helicopter landing rights from their new Herne Bay property.
Duke said this morning that many other people in that waterfront area were allowed six flights a week from their properties, he had consent from neighbours for flights from the new Sarsfield St home and wanted to be treated the same as anyone else in the area.
"There's a whole bunch of people on that particular coast who have landing rights for six flights a week," Duke said.
Ben Cook - the property investor who in 2015 paid New Zealand's highest price for a house - is near Duke's new home which is now under construction.
Duke told how he initially thought negotiations over the flights were going well.
"So our earlier indications from the council were that we would be no different from anyone else there - and a bunch of people on Takapuna beach," Duke said.
"So we proceeded but then the advice was they were going to reduce it from six [landings] to three each week and I went back to my people and said 'I wonder why they would do that to me and no one else? Why don't we go for 12 a calendar month - three a week?'
"So I went back to the council and they said no. If I don't use the three a week, I'm gone. That's manifestly unfair. We have tried and tried and tried and tried with the council," he said.
Duke said he did not own a helicopter but hired one.
"From time to time, I have got a golf membership up the coast. I don't want to have to drive to Onehunga," he said referring to Advanced Flight's base there.
Waitemata Local Board area minutes showed that on September 8, Rod and Patricia Duke lodged an appeal "against condition 7 of a resource consent granted by the council relating to the number of helicopter flights to and from the site, in particular from a helicopter landing area located in the general coastal marine zone." The minutes noted directions were being awaited from the Environment Court.
Duke bought two adjoining clifftop sites - and a big seaside boatshed - with panoramic views where he is gutting an existing house. The Dukes plan to leave Remuera and move there this coming winter.
"It's on schedule for July/August," Duke said today of the completion date.
He paid $12m to the Webster family for the north-facing site where builders partly demolished an existing house.
"It's just going to be a family residence. It's going to be ready about August next year. I'm taking out external and internal walls and the roof and leaving the piles and floors. Everything else will change," he said last year of the new home.
The boatshed will become a major entertainment venue, one person close to the changes said, while the basement floor of the new house will be dubbed the "TAB", a gaming, sports and entertainment zone.
Duke bought the property via real estate agent Graham Wall and said he had engaged Julian Guthrie of Godward Guthrie Architecture to undertake all the work.