John Wickliffe House, 265 Princes Street LUC-2014-203 | Decision

Received by mail this morning, the Decision for the resource consent application (LUC-2014-203) to paint John Wickliffe House in The Exchange.

Phil Page (legal counsel) represented the applicant, Nick Baker of Baker Garden Architects, consulting architect and agent for the Plaza Property Trust.


The final consideration of the application, which took into account all information presented at the Hearing, was held during the public-excluded portion of the Hearing. The Committee reached the following decision after considering the application under the statutory framework of the Resource Management Act 1991. In addition, a site visit was undertaken during the public-excluded portion of the Hearing. The Committee inspected the site and some other buildings referred to during the hearing and this added physical reality to the Committee’s considerations.

That, pursuant to Sections 34A and 104C and after having regard to Part II matters and Section 104 of the Resource Management Act 1991, The Dunedin City Council declines consent to the restricted discretionary activity to paint John Wickliffe House on the site at 265 Princes Street, Dunedin, being that land legally described as Section 6 Block XLIV Town of Dunedin held in Computer Freehold Register OT 18A/1024.

Right of Appeal — In accordance with Section 120 of the Resource Management Act 1991, the applicant and/or any submitter may appeal to the Environment Court against the whole or any part of this decision within 15 working days of the notice of this decision being received.

█ Download: John Wickliffe House LUC-2014-203 Decision 12 11 14

John Wickliffe House - Baker Garden Architects _1JW House exisiting []


Related Post and Comments:
17.7.14 John Wickliffe House – application to paint exterior

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: Baker Garden Architects – proposed paint scheme; – John Wickliffe House, existing surfaces


Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, DCC, Democracy, Design, Economics, Heritage, Name, New Zealand, People, Pics, Project management, Property, Site, Town planning, Urban design

34 responses to “John Wickliffe House, 265 Princes Street LUC-2014-203 | Decision

  1. Good decision: “The Dunedin City Council declines consent to the restricted discretionary activity to paint John Wickliffe House “. Now don’t flip-flop at the Appeal!

  2. Simon

    That’s two in a row that Phil has lost. Does he work on a money back guarantee ?

  3. Peter

    A demolition order would have been nice. A hideous building.

  4. Elizabeth

    Much better then that it’s not turned into Darth Vader.

  5. Elizabeth

    The information produced at hearing and provided here is public domain.

    I thank construction manager Russell Lund for agreeing to act as expert witness at the reconvened hearing on 23 October. I acknowledge and appreciate Russell’s generosity of time, research, industry expertise and targeted networking, and the quality of his consultation and analysis brought to task.

    Download: Statement of Evidence Russell Lund 23 10 14 (PDF, 2 MB)

    [text as follows]


    IN THE MATTER of an Application for Land Use
    Consent under the Resource
    Management Act 1991


    IN THE MATTER of LUC-2014-203
    265 Princes Street, Dunedin



    My Name is Russell Valdemar Lund. My professional membership and affiliation is ANZIQS (Associate of the NZ Institute of Quantity Surveyors). I am a construction manager. My company has completed over 300 projects since commencing work in Dunedin in 1996. We have manufactured exposed aggregate precast panels on several projects. Prior to that I acted as a construction cost consultant in the United States for a number of years, and also worked for Lund Dunedin’s parent company C Lund & Son Ltd. They have had decades of experience manufacturing precast panels, including exposed aggregate and operate a significant precast manufacturing facility in Christchurch.
    I have also been involved in a number of projects in Christchurch since 2012. Some of which have involved the repair of both plain finish and exposed aggregate precast panels.
    I have read and am familiar with the further information supplied by Salmond Reed as well as the city planner’s report containing the application, the submissions and the evidence to hearing.
    I support the further information from Salmond Reed in principle. I have made comment on the application as it relates to condition, assessment, external maintenance and repair for John Wickliffe House, based on my 32 years of experience in the construction industry, specifically with regard to my familiarity with the work of commercial concrete and panel repair specialists. I offer this information to assist the Hearing Committee in its determinations for the application.

    1. I note that the re-convened hearing is limited to the question of an appropriate clear coat to the precast panels. However, an integral part of the clear coating option is the economically feasible colour matched repair of the panels. The applicant has had Mr N Baker, architect, give evidence that “concrete cannot be repaired without it being clearly visible” and it has been stated by the owners’ side that to colour match repairs will cost five times as much as non-colour matched repairs. No evidence has been supplied to back these assertions. Clearly, these are key points to the hearing.

    2. First, the issue of the clear coating needs to be resolved. The owners of John Wickliffe House are one of several large building owners in Dunedin at present that have to confront the problem of coating or treating concrete facades that are failing. The Clinical Services Block of Dunedin Hospital, one of the largest buildings in Dunedin, is presently being repaired and coated at this time. The building has a combination of polished aggregate panels and exposed aggregate panels. The polished aggregate is very similar to the John Wickliffe House polished aggregate, except the colour of the aggregate. The coating product being used is Sika 740W clear coating which is a variant of the Sika 705 which I understand is being proposed by Mr Macknight for John Wickliffe House. The supplier confirms that the coating does not have a wet look and will not yellow or “bloom” over time. The proof of this is in the Clinical Services Block South Elevation also the Ward Block South Elevation. Both have been completed. No wet look or yellowing is evident.

    3. I have made contact with Southern District Health Board Buildings & Property, and they confirm that a) They researched the available coatings and chose Sika 740W as the best option. b) They believe it is a cheaper system than painting, and cost was an important consideration. c) They have been using it for 5 years and experienced no problems with it at all. d) They are planning to complete the entire Ward Block and Clinical Services Block buildings with the product which will take another 5 years.

    4. With respect, if Sika 740W is good enough for the most important public building in Dunedin, then it is good enough for John Wickliffe House.

    5. Turning to the applicant’s submissions, in my opinion, overall, the application lacks credibility.

    6. No attempt to outline the scope of the repair problem, when the hire of a large access boom machine for no more than a week could have provided surety about this.

    7. The key issue is that neither painting or clear coating is going to provide a long term solution to this building if widespread reinforcing corrosion has occurred within the precast panels. All that can happen is that repairs are made to affected areas, which will neutralize the corrosion in that area, but because of the electrochemical nature of the corrosion process, the corrosion process is ongoing. Fixing the affected areas doesn’t stop the corrosion. Over time more and more areas of panel will spall and require repair. I understand the building’s managers are aware of this. It would be a concern if the intention was simply to mask the problems by painting the building, and not attempting to perform structural repairs. A schedule of works and some commitment from the owners would be helpful.

    8. The owners clearly favour painting the building, in lieu of just repairing the panels with colour matched repairs and clear coating. It is then in their interest to make the scale of the repair problem as big as possible. Making vague statements without facts is helpful to them in this regard.

    9. Mr Offen gives the game away when he states he wants to “maintain an environment attractive to tenants”. He wants a fresh paint look because he thinks that is fashion preferred by tenants. In fact the existing polished exposed aggregate finish is a very high quality finish, and precasters I have spoken to in recent days advise it is now seldom specified because of the very large cost premium. Certainly in my 20 years in Dunedin I am not aware of any polished aggregate precast panel cladding that has been specified or constructed in Dunedin during this time. Major precasters in Canterbury advise that even in the current construction market any polished aggregate panels produced are just small feature panels on a large building, not the whole building, and are specified infrequently.

    10. I believe this is relevant because there are few examples of the polished aggregate precast cladding left in the Dunedin CBD, or at the University. It is notable that one building that did have polished aggregate, the former Wrightson NMA building at the corner of Broadway and High St, has very recently been painted. This building has some common ownership with Wickliffe House through Mr Broad, and we can infer from the Wrightson NMA building that the owners view painting as preferable to leaving the panels exposed.

    11. It is somewhat ironic that while polished aggregate is high quality finish, the proposal to paint the building will degrade the quality of the building. Painting the polished aggregate is the modern day equivalent of “modernizing” Victorian buildings by painting their stonework and removing parapets and as much ornamentation as possible.

    12. Mr Baker’s evidence has a number of errors and unsupported assertions. In relation to the panel finish; he asserts that in modernist architecture, “form is the key element, finish is a secondary element”. This is not an accurate or a sophisticated response. The guiding principle of Modernism, as defined by the seminal Bauhaus movement – that any second year architecture student knows – is that “form follows function”. Further, in the second wave of Modernism in the 1950s for multi-storey buildings, the guiding principle was that buildings should “express their structure”. This concept was promulgated by Mies van der Rohe, one of the founders of the Bauhaus movement, in the design of the Seagram Building in New York in the mid-1950s. This principle of buildings expressing their structure found its apogee in the raw concrete buildings of the brutalist movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It was the favoured style of the Ministry of Works in New Zealand and there are several examples on the University Campus.
    The polished aggregate panels on John Wickliffe House are an elegant example of both form following function and expressing the structure. The form is achieved by the regular and repetitive arrangement of the panels, and the structure is clearly expressed by having the DNA of the concrete structure and cladding of the building (being the crushed aggregate) polished and very obviously on display. Mr Baker says that retaining the polished aggregate is merely “desirable”. In fact if the panels are painted, as proposed by the owners, the lineage, design influences and the original design intent of the building are lost completely.
    I note that Mr Baker is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, yet the importance of the polished aggregate to this building appears to have escaped him.

    13. Overall, it is my opinion that the evidence of Mr Baker, architect for the applicant, has little credibility on this matter, either in matters of design, or in relation to concrete repair. On one hand he says: “My experience tells me that no matter how careful a repair is carried out to concrete, the result will be visible and in my view unacceptable.” Yet in the hearing he told the Commissioners he did not have much experience in concrete repair and would be guided by whatever the engineer(s) recommended. Mr Baker needs to pick a position and run with it, and state his experience in concrete repair before holding himself out as an expert.

    14. Mr Baker shows his lack of experience in concrete repair in his next sentence when he states “I believe that concrete cannot be repaired without it being clearly visible”. This is not correct. The Commissioners should not place any weight on this statement. I outline below how colour-matched repairs are commonplace.

    15. Mr Offen, a part owner, also sings this song when he says “the repairs required (will be) unsightly without an ability to paint”. This is only true of the few repairs that have been completed to date. None of these repairs had any attempt at all to colour match.

    16. If the building owners believe that the concrete problem is as bad as they claim, then it is poor quality property management on their part not to spend a minor amount on investigation and access to ascertain the problem.

    17. The engineer for the applicant, Mr Heenan, also stated at the hearing that he was very unsure if matching repairs could be done, and that it would be very expensive.

    18. Mr Heenan also said it would depend on the construction of the panels – whether the panels were made of the coloured aggregate and cement full depth, or whether the West Coast aggregate was a plaster veneer.

    19. The answer is obvious and shows again the applicant’s desire to keep things vague. One 50 mm diameter approx. core sample of the panel, which would cost no more than $150, would provide the answer as to how a typical panel was constructed.

    20. My experience, both with my own company and with parent company C Lund & Son Ltd in making exposed aggregate panels is that there are two likely methods of construction.

    21. One scenario is that a thin 20-40 mm approx. facing layer with the coloured cements and aggregates was laid on the bottom of the precast bed. While it was still tacky, the structural panel was then poured over the top of the facing panel and the facing panel melded into the structural concrete. (The trick when making panels is to get the timing right so that the structural concrete doesn’t bleed through the facing layer.) The panels when sufficiently cured are then removed from the mould and polished using diamond tipped abrasive equipment.

    22. Mr Bruce Chisholm of Hanlon & Partners, the Engineers for the building have confirmed last week that they believed the panels were constructed with a facing layer, but did not actually observe any being cast (see Appendix 1).

    23. The other scenario, after having viewed the edges of the panels and viewing some of the original drawings is that the panels have been constructed similar to a terrazzo benchtop, by using the coloured aggregates and cement full depth of the panels. This is in fact the better option as it means that there will not be problems with lumps of facing plaster delaminating from the structural backing layer. (This has happened at the Dunedin Hospital Oncology Building.) The full depth coloured aggregate panels ought to last the life of the building when the isolated instances of spalling from reinforcing too close to the surface are dealt with.

    24. After observing the drawings (a single reference copy of drawings photographed at Hocken Collections by archivist David Murray is supplied to the Hearings Committee) and panels onsite, there are some issues that suggest there are going to be ongoing problems with the panels:

    a) The reinforcing steel looks to be no more than 20 mm from the surface, less in several cases, in the areas of exposed reinforcing. 20 mm is the specified cover in the original specification. Current design practice is that the facing layer is not part of the structure of the panel – however it appears that the facing layer has been treated as part of the panel.

    b) The typical panels are only 3” (75 mm) thick. Refer original drawing S26. The aggregate is up to 30 mm wide. Thus a facing layer would have to be around 30-35 mm thick, which means the structural concrete is only 35-40 mm thick. This means that with 12 mm reinforcing both ways, needing 24 mm, plus 40 mm total cover (20 mm each side), there would not be enough thickness for the specified minimum concrete cover if the facing layer was excluded.

    c) I acknowledge that on drawing S25 there is a detail showing a structural panel of just 1.5” thick, with a 1” facing layer, but as noted, with the aggregate size chosen, this is unlikely, and in any case this detail was only where the panel acted as cast in formwork, not on the typical sloped spandrel panels. It appears that John Wickliffe House was an example of the (very flawed) thinking of architects across the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s that clients could save money by deleting the formwork to one side of concrete structures and use the finished precast panels as permanent formwork, but this was patently ridiculous architect-think, and the practice soon died out in the late 1970s. Lunds built the eight-level Christchurch Law Courts on the same basis – designed in the late 1960s, built in the 1980s, and the first change they made was to delete this system at their own expense.

    25. However, regardless of which type of construction has been used, I know from my experience with concrete structures outside of the confines of the Dunedin market that there are companies that specialize in repairing precast concrete panels.

    26. I note that the company giving the technical advice on behalf of the owners, Titus Waterproofing, are primarily a membrane and coating company. They do not have any expertise in repairing coloured exposed aggregate panels. Their interests are aligned with the owners’ desire to paint the building. Further, they are not approved applicators for Sika products, so are precluded from applying the Sika 740W used at Dunedin Hospital. The skilled tradesmen that can do this colour and texture matching work generally have experience actually manufacturing precast or as traditional solid plasterers, not as painters or coating applicators.

    27. Titus Waterproofing have no basis to say that repair using colour matched aggregate would be five times greater than the applicant’s proposal to repair using unmatched colour mortars.

    28. In my professional opinion this is simply an assertion, unsupported by facts. The facts are that the repair of the spalled areas using a colour matched mix with some smaller (say 6-8 mm) crushed aggregate to closely match the original surfaces will take little additional time over and above the repairs using non-colour matched repair compounds. All that is extra is 1) Some trials to determine the best mix, and when that is known, it is a case of mixing it and adding the smaller West Coast serpentine chip. 2) There may be a small perimeter bead of sealant or similar around each repair to allow the repair to be built proud of the surface so it can be ground back to a polished surface. 3) There will be some additional time to grind back the repair flush with the surface. With the correct equipment, eg Eibenstock hand held concrete grinders, the grinding and polishing of the repairs will not take very much longer than the sanding required to non-colour matched repairs. We have considerable experience about the capacity of hand held diamond tipped abrasive equipment to achieve high quality finishes on vertical concrete surfaces.

    29. My professional opinion is that there might be up to a 30-50 % premium for extra time, to complete a colour matched repair, but this premium will decrease with the quantity of repairs needed.

    30. We have used a company very recently to repair some exposed aggregate panels on one of our Christchurch projects. The company is Nawkaw NZ Ltd. They have a branch in Christchurch. They did an excellent job, and at a reasonable cost. Repairing precast panels is meat and drink to this company. They show examples of their work on exposed aggregate panels at their website

    31. Nawkaw have confirmed to me recently in writing after viewing photographs of the job that they are well able to repair the panels (see Appendix 1). As a rough sample indication of cost, Nawkaw indicated to me on 15 October that the cost to repair the panels on the 3-4 areas of exposed reinforcing on the Level 1 vertical panel facing into the plaza would be approximately their minimum charge of $700. This will exclude access and scaffolding. They of course need a scope of work to be able to price further repairs.

    The following is an excerpt from the Nawkaw website:
    • The following project had missing aggregate across its centre.
    • Nawkaw was able to hand-colour the missing aggregate onto the areas.

    Nawkaw NZ Ltd - aggregate panel repair before after

    32. In respect of Mr Page’s evidence, Mr Page shows the dangers of lawyers straying too far from points of law. In para 7 of his evidence to hearing on 15 August he notes that “the exclusion of any reference to “natural” appearance of concrete facings is significant in Townscape Rule 13.7.3 (ii) which states, “Exposed stone or brick on the facings of buildings within….precincts are to be retained with their natural appearance.” (my emphasis)

    33. Mr Page claims in para 7 that because natural concrete facings are not protected, the above rule is not relevant. He further makes the case in para 10, “John Wickliffe House is not clad in brick and stone. It is clad in concrete.” This is simply fanciful.

    34. Memo to Mr Page: That green colour in the panels is West Coast serpentine stone, in the panel facings. The trade name for the panels is polished aggregate panels. Aggregate is another term for stone.

    35. In my opinion Mr Page is also out on a very slender limb when he makes the claim in para 3 that:
    “The issue is not whether the exposed aggregate panels….should be painted. They simply must be painted….The only issue is what must the panels be painted with?”

    36. I have explained above how Mr Page is operating from a basic flawed premise when he claims that the exposed polished green aggregate (ie stone) facings are not either brick or stone facings. Accordingly, his following claims have no merit. Para 14, “It is submitted that you have no basis to intervene in whether John Wickliffe house is painted provided that you are satisfied that the colour scheme is “subdued”.” And further at para 21 (b), “the decisions that you and the Applicant need to make about how can the concrete cladding of John Wickliffe House be safely and economically secured.” And lastly at para 29, “You may choose the colour.”

    37. I thank the Commissioners for the opportunity to be heard and welcome any questions.

    Russell Lund
    23 October 2014

    Appendix 1 – Email correspondence [see PDF above for copy]

    15.10.14 Josh Clamp (Nawkaw NZ Ltd) in reply to Russell Lund

    15.10.14 Bruce Chisholm (Hanlon and Partners Ltd) in reply to Russell Lund


    Sikagard 740 W – 04.12 repl 11.11 – PDS
    Panel Specification (Hocken Collections. Ref: MS-2759/017)

    Miller White & Dunn aggregate precast panel details
    Drawing No. 1249 | Sheet Nos. S24, S25 and S26
    Dalziel Architects Collection — Hocken Collections (File Ref: ARC-0520)

    IMG_1008 AIMG_1001 AIMG_1003 A

    For assistance to Russell Lund’s evidence: special thanks to Archivist David Murray for supplying the panel specification and informal reference shots of the wider series of large drawing sheets held at Hocken Collections.

    Grateful acknowledgement to Stephen Macknight (structural engineer) for the expertise, scope, applicability and directness of his independent oral submissions to the Hearings.

    The independent submissions of Michael Findlay and David Murray to the first hearing strongly reinforced and were complementary to the views of all opposing the application; the written submission of Rosemary McQueen, opposing, is also acknowledged for clarity of message.

    Awaited, any notice of appeal within the next 15 working days.

  6. Elizabeth

    DCC’s building fix refusal disappoints
    The owners of John Wickliffe House are livid the Dunedin City Council has declined their resource consent application to repair and paint the building.

    Plaza level detail to John Wickliffe Square – prior to trial painting (in black, appearing plasticised) of the support columns nearest the building entry; the photograph also shows the two panel alignments for the building as a whole. The building is clad in aggregate (stone) precast panels.

    JWH Plaza level entry detail []

  7. Elizabeth

    John Wickliffe House, 265 Princes Street

    John Wickliffe House, 265 Princes Street [DCC Webmap - Aerial JanFeb 2013][DCC Webmap – aerial Jan/Feb 2013]

  8. The decision of the DCC panel to refuse the John Wickliffe House owners a consent to repair and paint the concrete facings of the building seems somewhat hypocritical to me. I understand that many purists believe that a building should remain true to its original design concepts in perpetuity as a matter of integrity. But the owners have a maintenance problem to deal to and it seems a reasonable expectation that they be allowed to do this in an effective and cost effective way. It should not be that a panel of inexpert people can foil these aims. The building is relatively modern so it is hard to accept that it need comply with historical considerations. This more-so as precedents have already been set. The Forsyth Barr building comes immediately to mind. Then there is the DCC itself, seriously compromised with its own Civic Centre building constructed in ‘fair faced’ concrete exterior which has been painted. Then there is the Central Library building also constructed in ‘fair faced concrete’ outer facings. These have been garishly painted in red and black tonings on the Moray Place frontage which is probably a far greater departure from the original concept than that envisaged for the John Wickliffe. I would think that the owners trust would have every right to challenge the ruling on the basis of consistency if nothing else.

    • Elizabeth

      Calvin – read Russell Lund’s astute evidence before you cause the applicant to fork out WAY TOO MUCH MONEY every 15 years to scaffold and paint the damn thing. It is more economical to do sympathetic repair (in like kind) for the medium and longer term (even though as the Commissioners state, cost is not an assessment matter).

      The decision is an excellent one. If you won’t take heed of what Mr Lund says in detail, which is closely atuned to what Steve Macknight says independently, and what in principle every other submitter had stated to hearing – including (by report) Salmond Reed Architects – then I will believe the crap ODT printed today from the applicant/ ‘friends’.

      I can get heated on this one for good reason.

      • Huh, “fork out WAY TOO MUCH MONEY every 15 years to scaffold and paint the damn thing” – and that’s in today’s conditions. Imagine what Health’nSafety regs may be dreamed up in the next 15 years! All scaffolding wrapped in plastic foam in case anyone bangs into any part of it or stubs a toe…. oh dear not plastic, it’s Not Sustainable. Wrapped in a special hi-loft wool wadding, perhaps.

    • It’s only “an effective and cost effective way” in the short term, it won’t stay tidily repainted. Painted buildings don’t. The alternative “invisible mending” won’t look shabby in a few years.

      • Elizabeth

        Har har, exactly !!

        • Hype certainly has a point. But then won’t the National Mortgage building, Steve MacKnight’s excellent restoration and the latest Stavely Building all be faced with the same dilemma? Again, whose right is it to dictate one owner’s obligation?

        • Calvin, buildings that have been painted, that may have been designed to be painted, will indeed have to be repainted, over and over. Between times, depending on the economy and fashion (currently heritage buildings are desirable and owners earn considerable kudos for fixing them up structurally and aesthetically) they may become awfully shabby, just look at the ratty old wrecks that have recently been re-loved. A few years ago they looked frightful and had been looking frightful for many years.
          A building that was designed to be “naked” and hasn’t ever been painted is another matter, and it’s not just architecture, cityscape etc values. It’s commonsense. There are apparently not many panels that require mending, but because one mending technique would have been very visible the owners wanted to paint the whole damn thing. For now it would have been styly, but in 20 years? Would it have been repainted before it got to the shabby peeling stage, or would it have looked slummy and downgraded the rest of the ‘hood? It is not in the interests of the city to foster downgrading, there’s enough of it that happens anyhow.
          Anyway, it’s not as if the very visible mending was the only, or best, remedy available. So why OK the most intrusive with the most adverse probable future effects? I think they were wise to nix that proposal.

  9. Elizabeth – I know you get heated on these things architectural, I know nothing about these things, I was only pointing out the inconsistencies of the decision. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it’s OK for the DCC to paint its own buildings then how can it stand in judgment? That the applicant may or may not have to fork out “WAY TOO MUCH MONEY”, is a decision that rests with the owners. It all smacks of “Big Brother” knows best. If it doesn’t impinge on the safety of the building or substantially change its integrity what is the problem? People with ‘no dog in the fight’ should butt out. Neither Mr Lund nor Steve MacKnight have any financial interest in the project, just opinions.

    • Elizabeth

      No no, Calvin. It’s about the construction of the panels and the correct methodology for building repair and maintenance. The council is the regulatory body that has to deal with the community-decreed district plan rules which have regard for townscape and assessment matters, the RMA, ICOMOS Charter (DCC is a signatory to the Charter), etc etc. I did not fight this on heritage grounds. Others gave that aspect some weight. I asked in the construction expert, who gladly took up the challenge and established some essential facts running counter to the applicant’s assumptions based on poor or no research.

  10. Elizabeth, I don’t disbelieve you nor do I dispute your contentions. I’m simply pointing out the inconsistencies when the governing authority can do one thing but deny another from doing likewise. That is not democracy but bloodymindedness. The applicants are entitled to feel aggrieved.

    • Elizabeth

      Rubbish, Calvin. They want it black on a fashion whim and haven’t done their homework; they’ve relied on proprietary advice which is not independent and are prepared to offer that up as fact. They most certainly have no condition report for the building which was my contention from the start. Good building stewardship starts with a condition report from a suitably qualified structural engineer. The applicant’s consulting engineer, and their consulting architect, hadn’t even sourced the building specifications or plan drawings!

  11. Elizabeth

    Until the evidence is read then the ensuing argument has no feet and is not grounded (since yesterday views have been rising steadily for the JWH post and comments, and the home page where it sits).

  12. Peter

    John Wickliffe House is a dump that stands out in the historic surrounding area like a sore thumb whether it is painted or not. In fact, it would probably look more stunning, and interesting, painted a shocking pink.

    • Remembering the old stock exchange building doesn’t help. Now THAT was a real delight, but it “went unfashionable” and wasn’t worth maintenance, at the time. I suppose JWH was clean, modern, uncluttered, practical, and at the time a style leader in the mouldy-oldy area. If we’d been Auckland and prosperous at the time of Chase Corporation, when mirrorglass was widely believed to be a key indicator of Progress…….
      Peter, try looking at JWH as a flaw in a genuine handmade rug, reminding us of how beautiful the other surroundings are and how much we should give thanks to Allah, the local economy, those visionaries who weren’t bandwagon’d to New Is Best, Old Should Go (irrespective of quality). Give thanks to the building owners who face big challenges because they see worth beyond quick returns and are prepared to make the sacrifices. Give thanks to Dunedin for being slow. The slow movement is catching on – food, lifestyle, using time to gain quality. Instant gratification isn’t going to become naff everywhere, Never mind, there are hundreds of thousands of IG environments for them as wants’em. Dunedin, boutique city for people with other priorities, that’s a nice niche to encourage.

  13. Hype, Elizabeth,
    I take both your points. I have taken the time to read Mr Lund’s submission. Slept on it, and this morning will go and look at the building as it is. I see what is implied about the intent of the structure and its design factors. Yes, it would somewhat change its presence to be coloured in any way other than the natural polished aggregate as constructed. That, of course is only my opinion from looking at it objectively. That is the problem with buildings, it exemplifies the maxim that truly, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Peter’s comment this morning makes that abundantly clear. It seems that the owners, for whatever reasons, have been convinced by their advisers that the most economical and practical approach was to patch and disguise, thereby changing the presence of a very substantial structure. Whereas Mr Lund has pointed out quite clearly that it needn’t be so. I guess on balance that the panel has weighed up the pros and cons and come to what may well be the correct decision. More by good luck than by any expertise I might add.

  14. Elizabeth

    Calvin, it is a hard building to like. Most will agree. Nevertheless it is tenanted; and has need for capital repair (noting the deferred maintenance).

    I removed some of my comments last night but have now restored them.
    It’s better to save energy for any appeal and thus dealing to points of law.

  15. Elizabeth

    Bravo, D. P. Pedersen.
    Noticed activity around this post lately. Specifically the decision. Let’s see what surfaces.

    ODT 25.11.14 (page 8)
    ODT 25.11.14 Letters to the editor Pedersen p8 (1)

  16. “The professional advice received….” as if there is only one way of achieving the desired result – repair of the panels.
    Perhaps this time it’s true.
    Alternatively, there are several different products and procedures that could be employed but for some reason it has been deemed desirable to present only one as if it really is The Only One.
    ‘Scuse cynicism. It’s been one of those weeks, already.

    • Elizabeth

      The building owners have yet to survey and assess the aggregate precast panels requiring repair, to determine the scope and type(s) of repairs required. We wait, and we wait. However, any further business around the Decision itself – if on appeal – will be weighted to analysis of District Plan requirements, RMA matters and case law precedent. I’m not sure Mr Offen has a personal feel for that, but the building owners and their counsel may.

      • So where did JW House owners’ representative Tony Offen get his info from, Nanny Whipp’s Ouija Board? He’s giving out like he knows all the answers already.

        • Elizabeth

          Good question, supposedly a combination of loose thinking/discussion via the owners’ architect (Baker Garden), their engineer (Heenan), Titis Waterproofing, and Equus. But that’s not enough, not for the surfaces of this building or its contextual relationships in the precinct.
          Fortune 500 cookies won’t help Mr Offen now, nor will page flicking at Wikipedia.

  17. Elizabeth


    Plaza Property Trust v Dunedin City Council – John Wickliffe House

    Notice of Appeal to Environment Court (dated 2.12.14) against decision on Resource Consent, received by mail this morning from Mr Page for the appellant.

    Why are we not surprised.

    Download: Notice of Appeal 2.12.14 – John Wickliffe House (PDF, 872 KB)

    • Elizabeth

      Elizabeth Kerr and Steve Macknight have independently registered as RMA s274 parties to appeal.

    • Elizabeth

      Recently, the parties were set a date for mediation, to be held in late March.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 18 Mar 2015
      Mediation move over paint dispute
      By Vaughan Elder
      The owners of John Wickliffe House have appealed a Dunedin City Council decision to decline their resource consent to paint and repair the building. […] The next step was for the parties to meet for court-assisted mediation at the end of this month. If mediation was unsuccessful, it would go to a hearing.
      Read more

  18. Elizabeth

    ODT 7.1.15 (page 14)
    ODT 7.1.15 Letter to the editor Kenny page 14

  19. Elizabeth

    John Wickliffe House
    Building Stories: Documenting the Modernist buildings of Dunedin

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