ZB ZB
Live now
Start time
Playing for
End time
Listen live
Listen to NAME OF STATION
Up next
Listen live on
ZB

Controversial Kaitāia hostel closed after Dangerous Building notice

Author
Mike Dinsdale,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Apr 2024, 2:59pm
Kaitāia’s Hike and Bike hostel has been permanently closed after the council deemed it a dangerous building following several complaints.
Kaitāia’s Hike and Bike hostel has been permanently closed after the council deemed it a dangerous building following several complaints.

Controversial Kaitāia hostel closed after Dangerous Building notice

Author
Mike Dinsdale,
Publish Date
Wed, 17 Apr 2024, 2:59pm

Kaitāia’s Hike and Bike hostel has been permanently closed after a Dangerous Building Notice was served on the owners by Far North District Council.  

The former backpackers, on Commerce St, has been subject to several complaints to the council in recent years with it being ordered not to operate as a backpackers last year due to major issues with getting the hostel’s fire alarm signed off.  

This was deemed a major health and safety risk, but was not fixed up so the council took the stance that it could not be run as a commercial accommodation business.  

The council ordered then-manager David Fisher to close the hostel last June after it issued a dangerous building notice following Fisher admitting repeatedly turning off its fire alarms. 

The council said at the time that it could not be run as a commercial rental property, but there have been people staying there since. 

Council Environmental Health Officer Patrick Barber said the Auckland-based owner of the property has power of attorney over the building and is now responsible for it after the manager left. 

“A Dangerous Building Notice has recently been served by FNDC, all occupants should have been gone by Friday last week and this matter is being monitored by our Building Compliance officers,” Barber said. 

Police visited the building on Tuesday afternoon to clear out anybody that was still staying there. 

“The next stage is to get the property boarded up and fenced off and arrangements are in hand for this,” Barber said. 

He said the council had received several complaints about the building. 

In October last year, the environmental health team received a complaint about a health nuisance at the property. The complaint reported rat infestations and accumulation of rubbish which was affecting neighbouring properties. 

Council environmental health staff visited the property several times to try to resolve the issue but had no joy trying to speak to the manager. 

On October 24 a letter was sent to Fisher via email confirming that a health nuisance had been confirmed and asking that he address the nuisance. 

On November 6 the property was visited again by council officials which confirmed that the health nuisance had not been addressed. 

Several other attempts were made to contact he manager without success and a final letter was sent in February giving the manager one final chance to sort out the mess or the council would. 

On March 22 an external contractor completed the required clear up work, taking away several truckloads of rubbish from the section. 

“As the remedial work has been undertaken we are currently pursuing all expenses, $6,808, incurred from the property owner,” Barber said. 

There have also been concerns at dogs on the property wandering on the street and Barber said animal management staff will continue to patrol the road to look for any wandering dogs. 

“We are aware of the issues [at the hostel] and have taken steps to rectify matters within our powers. We will continue to do so and ... the matter continues to receive attention and will be addressed to its conclusion by all branches of my department.” 

This article was originally published on the NZ Herald here. 

Take your Radio, Podcasts and Music with you