Russian billionaire Alexander Abramov's Helena Bay mansion.
Photo / Brett Phibbs
The developers of a luxury $40 million home in Northland
are locked in a legal battle over who should pay to replace
more than $1m worth of windows that were reportedly spoiled by
a job which was meant to protect them.
The completion date for Russian billionaire Alexander
Abramov's luxury hideaway at Helena Bay could be delayed as
insurers are refusing to foot the bill. The Helena Bay
property is described as New Zealand's most expensive new
Four houses, comprising a main luxury residence and three
guest villas, have been built on 10,000sq m of prime coastal
land, 40km north of Whangarei. The main u-shaped four-bedroom
lodge has a central courtyard swimming pool and a 50m hall
that can be turned into a ballroom.
A small army of contractors, including carpenters,
electricians, heating and ducting specialists, plasterers and
painters have been working on the project.
Problems began with joinery protection efforts.
Sub-contractor Temporary Protective Solutions was hired to
apply the protective coating to the windows and a specialist
tape to joinery in late 2012, designed to protect expensive
and delicate materials during construction.
The Tesa coating - specially chosen for the harsh, coastal
setting - was supposed to be removed within weeks. But
instead it was left on for around nine months.
When the tape was peeled off, it left indelible marks on the
joinery. TPS directors argued the marking left on the joinery
was barely noticeable.
However the head contractor, Northland Coastal Developments,
ordered all damaged fittings to be replaced.
The head contractor took legal action and won a $1.5m
adjudication against TPS. TPS attempted to recover the money
from its insurers NZI, but they are understood to have
declined the claim on the grounds that it was a product
Unable to pay the bill, TPS last week filed for voluntary
liquidation, and the head developers may now be faced with
taking legal action against the insurers to recover the
Northland Coastal Developments director Chris Seel said he
could not comment on the legal process.
"There's nothing I can say. This is in the hands of lawyers
and it's quite a big issue for all parties involved."
Seel wasn't sure if the legal action would delay the project,
which was due to be completed in a few months.
The directors for TPS declined to comment and NZI did not
Abramov is one of Russia's richest men. According to
richlister bible Forbes, the 55-year-old father of three is
worth $4.55 billion. He owns a steel company with Chelsea
Football Club owner Roman Abramovich.
Abramov was granted permission to build a 233m coastal
walkway around the bay to a pontoon off a jetty of about 13m
at one end of the beach.
Abramov reportedly owns the superyacht Triple Seven, a sleek
and modern 67m boat with a cinema, gym and jacuzzi, which has
visited Auckland twice.
One of the conditions for the $15.9m land purchase was
Abramov would create a 2ha wetlands area.
- Bevan Hurley of the Herald on Sunday