A Dunedin theatre veteran considers herself a victim of
the Wakatipu's rampant development.
''I definitely do [feel that],'' Louise Petherbridge said.
Mountain Scene approached Mrs Petherbridge for comment
after she lost a recent High Court battle over the Lake Hayes
retreat she has enjoyed for 30 years.
''I need it for my work,'' Mrs Petherbridge said of her 40sq
m unit at the former Lake Hayes Motel.
''I go there for the quiet - it's a wonderful spot.
'' I have all-day sun, direct access to the lake and a
panoramic view of Lake Hayes.''
Lake Hayes is the prime spot locally, she said. Mrs
Petherbridge doubted she would find a replacement place as
good as her present holiday getaway.
She confessed to being ''absolutely'' disappointed at losing
in court to an investment company owned by South Island motor
vehicle magnate Ken Cummings and Dunedin businessman David
Justice Graham Panckhurst's verdict dissolves the nine-unit
body corporate at the old motel.
The Cummings-Smallbone company owns all the units except Mrs
''The body corporate has been effectively defunct for 30
years and the [1960s] motel units are past their economic
lifetime,'' Justice Panckhurst ruled.
''The site requires redevelopment.''
In evidence, Mrs Petherbridge agreed she could not recall any
body corporate meetings since her parents bought her unit in
The verdict orders Mrs Petherbridge to accept what the judge
called ''a good offer'' from the Cummings-Smallbone company.
The Dunedin businessmen will pay her $274,500 - 25% over
market value - and if they sell the prime 3055sq m site
inside a year, she will also receive 9.15% of anything over
However, Justice Panckhurst displayed some sympathy for Mrs
''Imposing an order which defeats the property rights of a
co-owner should not be done lightly,'' he said.
''It's a step of last resort.''
The judge also found the parties were deadlocked.
''The only commercially sensible course is to offer the whole
property for sale as a redevelopment proposition.''
The Cummings-Smallbone company ended up with eight units
after advancing a second mortgage to an earlier owner for
When that owner defaulted in 2009, Mr Cummings and Mr
Smallbone reluctantly bought the eight units to protect their
They also inherited what the judge called ''a development
However, their company and Mrs Petherbridge could not reach
agreement over a replacement apartment for her.
Despite the court defeat, Mrs Petherbridge has no animosity
towards the other owners - they were simply caught by the
global financial crisis, she said.
Mr Cummings said his co-owned company ''will be abiding by
the judge's decision'' but was not ''currently in a position
to discuss the future of the property''.
As an actor, director and producer, Mrs Petherbridge has been
active in Dunedin's Globe and Fortune theatres since the
- Frank Marvini