A Tauranga firm has admitted it constructed 28 residential units at Papamoa Village Park without the necessary building consents.

Venture Development Ltd pleaded guilty to a charge that it carried out building works with no consents - a charge which attracts a maximum fine of $200,000.

The same charge laid by Tauranga City Council against Benjamin Graham, one of the two company directors, was withdrawn.

Lawyer Michelle Paddison entered the guilty plea on behalf of Venture Developments Ltd at Tauranga District Court today.


The council's summary of facts revealed the charge related to the construction of 28 dwellings at Papamoa Village Park between October 1, 2016 and February 28 this year.

Papamoa Village Park is a 2.79 hectare site owned by Papamoa Village Park Limited, which bought the park site in 2002.

In late 2016, Venture was contracted to build 28 new dwellings on the property, about 50sq m in size, to replace some of the older houses in the park.

No building consents were sought or issued at this time, the council said.

Venture sold each of the buildings to members of the public for an average price of about $125,000, with the sales arranged by Papamoa Village Park Ltd.

In late February this year, a Tauranga City Council building officer noticed building activity at the park, including truckloads of new construction material being delivered to the site.

During a visit to the site on February 27, the inspector found four partly constructed buildings which appeared to be self-contained units each of about 50sqm in size.

Following the visit, the inspector emailed company director Ben Graham asking what building consents were in place for the uncompleted buildings.

After Graham replied he was unsure as Venture was "just a contractor on the site", the council officer placed a halt on completion of the buildings, which the company did.

When two council building officers visited the site on March 28 they found at least 14 buildings with similarly constructed materials and designs had been erected on site.

The next day, Venture lodged four building consent applications with the council for further building works relating to four of the dwellings.

On May 14 this year, the council issued notices to Venture and Papamoa Village Park Ltd to cease all building works at the park and obtain certificates of acceptance for the non-consented buildings.

At that stage, the council identified 28 buildings in total had been built without a consent.

When interviewed, Graham stated Venture had accepted the advice of the "experienced" contracting firm that no building consents were required to complete these works.

Judge David Cameron adjourned the matter for sentencing on October 8.