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Mediation date reset

Masterton Trust Lands Trust brought legal action against numerous parties, including the district council, after concerns with a number of properties. PHOTO/ FILE


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A September date has been set for mediation in the case involving the Masterton Trust Lands Trust [MTLT], Masterton District Council, and structural designers Kevin O’Connor & Associates [KOA].

The Lands Trust is seeking to recover costs involved with remediating structural shortcomings of buildings that have been found not to meet the seismic design standard.

Last October, a Radio New Zealand [RNZ] report into buildings in nearby Palmerston North put the spotlight back on the Wairarapa properties.

Palmerston North City Council [PNCC] had held a two-year investigation into its buildings.

Of the dozen properties scrutinised, all with seismic design by KOA, two-thirds had flaws, and several have since been declared earthquake-prone.

In 2016, concerns were raised to Engineering New Zealand [ENZ], formerly known as the Institute of Engineering Professionals, about buildings in Masterton where six newly-built, Trust-owned properties had also failed earthquake safety standards.

That year, the Trust filed its case against KOA, Masterton District Council [MDC] as the consenting authority, and the council’s peer reviewer Spencer Holmes Limited.

The trust is seeking to recover the costs involved with remediating structural shortcomings of two of its buildings that have been found not to meet the seismic design standard for new buildings.

The claim is for the estimated costs of remediating the trust’s buildings at 61 and 73 Dixon St, which are both rented by retail outlets.

The buildings were built in 2007 and 2011 respectively.

“All parties involved in the legal proceeding brought by MTLT against Kevin O’Connor & Associates have agreed to go to mediation,” a Masterton District Council spokesperson said.

“Due to the covid-19 lockdown that mediation has been delayed and is now expected to be held in late September.”

MTLT is a community-owned trust formed to own and manage land in the area, dating back to the 1800s.

Income from its property investments is distributed in grants to educational, cultural, and community activities in the town.


Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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