Scaffolding on one stage of a huge Auckland leaky building repair project is due to come down this month after more than $24 million was spent fixing 81townhouses.
Michael Rehm, body corporate chairman of Parnell Terraces on The Strand in Quay Park, said although the project had not gone according to plan, progress would be visible shortly when the white shrink wrap was removed on part of the huge repair project.
"In the month of April, the scaffolding should come down on the first blocks," Rehm said.
Some owners are unhappy, saying repairs will end up costing them more than $300,000 each, they have had to spend about $60,000 on rent for nearly two years, and when their townhouse is handed back it will be unpainted and uncarpeted.
"Everyone thinks leaky buildings are over but we're still caught up in this nightmare," an owner said.
Costs had escalated and could be nearer $26.4m, an owner claimed, saying the process had been running for a frustrating and worrying 18 months "and yet it's not finished, why?"
Rehm said he expected costs to be contained within the original $24m sum.
"I appreciate how owners are feeling. The project has clearly not gone to plan which all owners know in broad terms.
"We are looking to arrange an extraordinary meeting to discuss progress and make resolutions on some matters related to the reclad project. With a number of things in flux we have continually had to push back the planned EGM [extraordinary general meeting].
"There is a repair levy due on May 15 which represents a firm deadline in my mind for the date of an EGM. I have wanted to hold an EGM no later than mid-April but that is constantly being pushed further into the future as we don't have the information required to set the EGM's agenda and draft the associated resolutions," he said.
Everyone thinks leaky buildings are over but we're still caught up in this nightmare
An owner said a final instalment of nearly $50,000 was due soon.
"But we're not going to pay unless we know we're getting into our place before the end of this year. We're handing over all this money and we don't even know where it's gone. Have the contractors been paid? Is it sitting in a holding account? We have no idea. This is financially devastating. We have nowhere to live," the owner said.
Consultants Maynard Marks has been managing the repair of the three-level blocks. Corbel Construction was appointed the head contractor. Site offices are in the middle of the townhouses in portable units.
The units are in six blocks between The Strand, Roynane St, Ngaoho Pl and the main trunk railway line.
Owners at an extraordinary general meeting on November 23 last year were told about a "remedial cost overrun levy of $7,037,830" which would be raised in two instalments due on February 15 and May 15. Owners also agreed to an external review of the remediation process, paying up to $50,000 for this.
Ngati Whatua, which owns the land beneath Parnell Terraces, "do want to help and are open to structuring a deal with the body corporate", minutes said. Jeanne Heatley and Jonathan Wood from Rainey Law told owners they were legally bound to repair the buildings "and there are no other options but to get on with it".