A property investment business is in discussions over final payments for work creating New Zealand's most expensive new hotel - the new $300 million Park Hyatt Auckland on the city's waterfront.
Richard Aitken, Fu Wah NZ local general manager, said: "We've got a couple of disputes with a few people but we're working our way through it."
The business was extremely proud of the new 195-room five-star hotel on Halsey St but he acknowledged some outstanding financial issues were yet to be resolved.
"It's more in the millions than tens of millions," he said of discussions with parties over the property at 101-135 Halsey St.
One party who contacted the Herald said his business was owed a substantial sum and had been awaiting settlement for many months. He knew of other parties also claiming final payments.
This had caused distress, he said, asking not to be named.
Aitken said: "This is a natural part of a big job like this. We've come to the end of the project and we're tidying up various matters that came out of it. I don't think there's any major issues or blowouts."
Contracts signed with different parties who worked on the hotel had dispute resolution clauses in them "which we will honour", he said.
Asked why the hotel was originally publicised as being around $200m but closer to completion was put at $300m, Aitken said: "The $200m was released by Waterfront Auckland as the potential investment and that was the number they came up with. Sure, the thing cost more than we thought it would but $300m was always closer to the real amount."
Asked what the current disputes involved, Aitken said: "It's going both ways. We are making some claims against people and they're making claims against us."
The building is owned by Auckland Hotel Investment, which is owned by Fu Wah New Zealand. The directors are Yung Chiu, of Hong Kong and Huayi Mu, of Flat Bush in Auckland.
Fu Wah New Zealand is in turn owned by Cityland Development of Singapore.
Opening the new hotel took two years longer than originally expected.
Fu Wah said in October 2019: "The project has been slower than first envisaged, but that is in line with most projects of this size in Auckland, due to complexity of the build, constraints on labour, etc. Fu Wah is happy with the high quality of the finished product. The end is now close."
Fu Wah was founded by one of China's richest women, Madam Chan Laiwa and at the 2016 ground-breaking ceremony, she attended with then-Prime Minister Sir John Key. The Herald reported how the hotel's completion was expected in 2018.
It did not open until September 15, 2020.
It was built by Hawkins and China Construction. In 2018, about 138 Chinese tradespeople were flown in because of a local labour shortage.
The building opposite ASB North Wharf was designed by Ali Reda from ar+d in Singapore with local firm Bossley Architects.
The hotel is on a 100m-long by 50m-wide site.
The first floor has all the health, exercise, spa, beauty treatment, hydrotherapy and leisure features, including a 25m-long indoor infinity pool on the northern face overlooking Karanga Plaza.
The building has a mansard roof which houses the rooms on the hotel's top floor. Each has its own external deck overlooking the waterfront and city.
Typical or standard rooms are 48sq m, many with their own private decks, far more spacious than the more standard hotel room of 32sq m.
The additional space is for a separate bathroom with full bath, walk-in wardrobe or dressing area and separate toilet.
Park Hyatt Auckland's management said today it was unaware of any disputes over payments.