Former All Black Marc Ellis has got offside with a
neighbour at the prestigious gated community of Matiatia Estate
on Waiheke Island.
Ellis has begun earthworks for a driveway to a new
five-bedroom holiday home on the private estate. A neighbour,
Briar Ross, sent a legal letter trying to stop the work.
The home will have six bathrooms, a swimming pool, gym and a
large covered "fire nook". The section includes protected
native bush and is understood to contain two Maori
The earthworks are the first work on the 1.5ha property Ellis
and his wife Agustina Mon bought in January last year for
$1.65 million to build a 290sq m home overlooking Matiatia
Bay and the Hauraki Gulf.
Last week, Ross, a jazz singer, sent Ellis a letter from her
lawyer, Keith Wong, saying he did not have consent from 80
per cent of the owners of a jointly owned private lane to
build the driveway.
"As such ... we require that you immediately cease and desist
your works on the land," the letter said.
The letter failed to stop contractors for Ellis removing a
fence and building a boulder retaining wall for the driveway
late last week.
Work continued yesterday, said Ross.
Ellis said yesterday that Ross was clutching at straws and it
was a matter for the lawyers to sort out. He did not wish to
One property owner at the estate, Victoria Sanders, said she
had no comment. The other two owners could not be reached.
Ross, who has owned a 2ha property at Matiatia Estate for 10
years, said she had tried talking to Mr Ellis. The long-term
resident believed Ellis should not access his property from
the driveway she shares with another property, but a second
driveway to two other properties on the estate.
A council spokeswoman said resource consent had been granted
for Ellis' property.
"This site, together with those surrounding it are accessed
via a private road. Vehicle access from a private road on to
a private site is a civil matter and not something that
involves the council."