Sleeping pods going for up to $200 a week inside an Auckland CBD apartment have been dismantled for violating a number of council bylaws.
The pods drew controversy when they popped up on Trade Me in August last year, with eight "state of the art" Japanese-style sleeping capsules in one apartment stacked two high.
Each pod on the bottom row was, at $180, $20 cheaper to rent per week than the pod above it.
Prospective tenants were encouraged to rent the pods inside the ground-level Hudson Brown apartment next to the Spark Arena, and share a kitchen and living space with other pod tenants.
But the Trade Me listing for the capsules, which had been seen more than 2000 times, was taken down within hours of being put up without explanation.
Auckland Council this week confirmed the owner did not have resource consent to install the pods in the first place.
The arrangement broke several bylaws and the owner decided to remove the pods after being told this, rather than applying for consent.
An investigation by council found the project breached the Building Act 2004, Resource Management Act 1991 and Housing Improvement Regulations 1947.
Auckland council's regulatory compliance manager Steve Pearce said council agreed with the owner that all the pods would be dismantled by last Sunday and all tenants gone from the apartment by June 12, allowing 90 days notice.
"We have recently been advised by the building's body corporate that the apartment was now vacant, and that the pods were due to be auctioned in May ensuring that the apartment would no longer be used for sleeping pods."
Housing affordability campaigner Hugh Pavletich said council had done the right thing in asking for the set-up to be dismantled.
"That's a very responsible thing by the council. We don't need to be seeing that in this country."
In a crazy housing market you see "crazy ideas emerge".
"We'll see all different variants like in Hong Kong where they're living in pipes. But all we want to see happen is normal markets restored in New Zealand," he said.
"That's what the focus should be - supporting housing affordability so we don't see this kind of nonsense."
The Herald has sought to contact the owner via Hudson Brown for comment.