Hope could be in sight for Waiwera's thermal resort north of Auckland, after a series of legal moves in the last few days.
Waiwera Thermal Resort, controlled by interests associated with American Leon Fingerhut, and Haydn and Mark Staples' Waiwera Properties are understood to be planning to enter arbitration, which could take place early next year.
That follows this month's High Court at Auckland application from Waiwera Thermal Resort for an injunction. Julia Carlyon of Meredith Connell represented the operator and a date this month was set to take the case further.
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That was an application for an injunction, brought by Waiwera Thermal Resort against Waiwera Properties and is understood to have involved an attempt to ensure the lease continued.
Waiwera Properties has complained about how in the last two years, some leasehold land payments were missed.
But now the two parties are understood to be in discussions with the possibility that work on the pools, shut since February, could continue and the venue might re-open.
In late October, Waiwera Properties said it had cancelled the lease on the once-popular pool complex because of an intermittent "history of defaults on rental payments" during a two-year period. That left the future of the resort up in the air.
The ground is leased in perpetuity. Rent is re-set every five years and the lease is renewed every 21 years.
Late last month, Russian Mikhail Khimich sold all his shares in two Waiwera businesses, leaving his American associate Leon Fingerhut in full control, according to official New Zealand records.
Companies Office information showed Khimich no longer owned any shares in Waiwera Thermal Resort, now fully in the hands of Ordover Trust of Las Vegas. The share transfer took place on Thursday last week and Khimich is now listed as a former shareholder but he remains a director. Ordover's address and Fingerhut's address are the same on the records.