Remediation of high-rise apartment tower Victopia in Auckland's CBD has begun and the builder has told residents who are vacating their units that the job could take two years.

Victopia is the high-rise on the corner of Victoria St and Nelson St where owners were told in 2017 via body corporate minutes that the total repair bill "could approach $40 million".

Leisa Brett of Teak Construction Group which won the contract to fix the tower wrote to residents this month telling them how pre-construction started on March 4 "and will approximately continue for the next two years".

Fortnightly letters will give residents updates on the project's progress.


Offices are arriving on the podium carpark site, fences are being erected around Nelson St, Vogel Lane and the tower's podium and the podium carpark will be out of bounds at all times from now on, she said.

A gantry has been installed on Victoria St opposite TVNZ.

Last week, Brett said the set-up was expected to take about two weeks for the block at 135 Victoria St West.

Ian Harris, Victopia Apartments remediation project manager, wrote to residents on March 4, telling them how a traffic management plan had been approved by Auckland Transport.

He issued a schedule of dates for when residents must leave their apartments. Ground-floor residents must be out by April 13, level one residents by May 3, and levels two to 14 residents will gradually leave between May and March of next year.

Residents are being issued with 90-day notices to vacate their apartments for the repairs, he said.

Harris said owners who have their units rented should have told their property manager and/or tenants to vacate their apartments. Repairs to the main building would continue from next month until November 2020. Access in and out of the basement would become "manned to ensure safe crossing of vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists leading onto Nelson St".

Site huts, an ablution block and hoist have been brought to the site. Structural steel work will be erected along the podium building columns which will carry the load of the scaffolding.


In 2016, the Herald reported how a confidential settlement was reached on New Zealand's biggest defective building court claim, where owners were suing for $40 million.

Victopia began its case in the High Court at Auckland on October 12, 2016. It was due to run for 10 weeks but it finished early on Friday, October 28.

A Victopia unit owner who was not a party to the action told the Herald a settlement was reached: "Good news, the High Court trial has settled."

Gareth Lewis, the Grimshaw & Co lawyer who acted for the owners, said he could not comment on the case or any proceedings.

Susan Thodey acted for Auckland Council in the case and Christine Meecham QC was acting for decking membrane supplier Bostik.

The body corporate sued the council, Bostik and the developer of the Nelson St corner block. Lewis said the tower suffered from "defects in the cladding, balconies and podium" and 199 out of 203 owners brought the action."