A builder has admitted more than a decade of illegal construction on a property on the outskirts of Hastings.

Appearing in Hastings District Court this morning, Ezra Combs pleaded guilty to seven charges laid under the Building Act by the Hastings District Council relating to the structures on a property at Ruahapia, just north of Hastings.

Similar charges against three other people were withdrawn.

The council began investigating last October and found 31 non-compliant buildings on the property. The other four on the property had been built according to the rules and had building consents.


The buildings comprised a mixture of residential and rental accommodation, and office and other commercial space. They had been erected since 2003, when a woolshed on the property was converted to living quarters, ignoring a council requirement to have a building consent.

Council inspectors were particularly concerned about plumbing they considered dangerous. The plumbing from showers and baths drained into soak pits.

Combs, director of companies Superior Roofing and Superior Rigging and Scaffolding, was remanded until October 19 for sentencing on the charges which each have a maximum penalty of $200,000.