The head contractor for the new 92-unit Sargeson apartments at Takapuna is claiming $1.4 million from the failed developer but a chief says it still paid all its subcontractors and creditors for the job.
Andrew Moore, commercial manager at College Hill-headquartered CMP Construction, described the sorry situation with the building on Anzac St in Takapuna's centre.
"I'd like to make it very clear that despite CMP not being paid what was certified, agreed, and owed to us, we still paid all our creditors and subcontractors what was owed and due to them," he said.
The company behind the Sargeson, Auburn Developments, is in liquidation with a projected $15.9m shortfall.
Moore said despite that big debt and money owned to CMP, none of those who worked on the job for the head contractor directly went without.
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CMP's financial position remained unaffected by the Sargeson situation, he stressed.
"The $1.4m is a lot of money to not be paid. However for a company with over $400m of live contracts on the go, it will not affect our ability to trade in any way whatsoever – this non-payment was six months ago, so it's quite historical now," he said.
But Moore said he had not given up on some hope of getting the money claimed.
"We are still actively pursuing the debt, and have a number of avenues to investigate to assist getting paid what's due to us," he said.
"This includes potentially suing the principal directly, selling warranties or guarantees to existing or future purchasers, or possibly requesting Auckland Council to rescind the code compliance certificate, since there are now no warranties or guarantees on the building," Moore said.
CMP says on its web site the Sargeson job was a $30m contract, it started in August 2017 and was due to finish in late 2018. It built two six-level towers, connected via an atrium walkway.
The site of the apartments had a row of houses used for The Block television series. Those single-level stand-alone homes were demolished to make way for the project where a tower crane was erected.
Yesterday, the Herald reported on the first liquidator's report from Bryan Williams of BWA Insolvency who has raised questions about a creditor, Kai Iwi Tavern lodged a caveat on eight apartment titles.
Companies Office records show the tavern company's sole director is David James Oliphant of St Heliers. He is also the sole director and shareholder of Auburn Development, the company in liquidation. The tavern company's shareholders are Gwenyth Small of Remuera and Douglas Eliffe of Orakei.
Oliphant has been cited in a High Court case involving NZ Mortgages & Securities as being "a business partner of Brent Clode".
Clode is a former Olympic kayaker who was previously bankrupted. At one of his developments in Parliament St in Auckland CBD last decade, a wall collapsed, killing labourer Te Rue Teparia John Tearetoa.
The High Court case noted that although Oliphant was the sole director and shareholder of Auburn Development which owned the Sargeson development, Clode claimed that was his baby, having devised the project and inviting Oliphant to come in as a fifty per cent partner.
CMP's Moore called for changes to the building sector to stop situations like the Sargeson continuing and leaving builders out of pocket.
"The construction industry needs to ensure that there are contractual mechanisms or guarantees in place so money certified for payment under the construction contract - normally certified by the bank or principal's quantity surveyor - is paid by the principal or developer. The construction industry is now discussing this topic in many different forums," he said.