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Controversial ‘Tower of Ōtara’ pulled down over safety concerns

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Jun 2024, 9:13pm
The ‘Tower of Ōtara’ before it was pulled down by contractors. Photo / Jason Dorday
The ‘Tower of Ōtara’ before it was pulled down by contractors. Photo / Jason Dorday

Controversial ‘Tower of Ōtara’ pulled down over safety concerns

Author
RNZ,
Publish Date
Wed, 12 Jun 2024, 9:13pm

By Evie Richardson of RNZ

A controversial backyard structure in South Auckland has been taken down after complaints about safety from neighbours.

The structure in Ōtara - which stood multiple storeys high - appeared to be made out of wood - including old pallets and plywood - and corrugated iron. It was decorated with a New Zealand flag, and adorned with a red bicycle atop its roof.

The building, dubbed the ‘Tower of Ōtara’ by locals, was pulled down by contractors on Wednesday afternoon.

An RNZ reporter at the scene said at least five skip bins full of material from the structure and nearly a dozen men in hi-vis vests were outside the property.

Workers at Mayfield Superette, across the road from the tower, said they were very pleased to see it gone.

They said contractors began dismantling the structure on Tuesday.

Auckland Council received two complaints about the property at the beginning of May.

The remains of the tower. Photo  / Evie Richardson, RNZ
The remains of the tower. Photo / Evie Richardson, RNZ

Council compliance officers conducted a site visit and assessed the unconsented structure, which was unstable and not built to code.

“It was the council’s opinion that the structure meets the definition of a dangerous building under the Building Act 2004,” the council said.

The council’s compliance unit initially ordered the structured to be removed by 27 May.

The ‘Tower of Ōtara’ before it was pulled down by contractors. Photo / Jason Dorday
The ‘Tower of Ōtara’ before it was pulled down by contractors. Photo / Jason Dorday

“This was subsequently extended to June 7, 2024 to allow Kāinga Ora to work through the necessary processes to have the structure removed safely, with consideration for the welfare of the tenant,” it said.

Kāinga Ora - which has been carrying out the process to remove the tower - also had a representative at the scene who said the man who constructed the tower was not present while the dismantling took place.

The Crown agency has been approached for comment.

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