1492030617517 - One property, 31 buildings, zero consents over 12 years: $21,000 fine

One property, 31 buildings, zero consents over 12 years: $21,000 fine

A man who spent 12 years erecting 31 non-compliant buildings on his property has been fined $21,000.

Hastings District Council received a complaint about some non-consented building work on the property of Ezra Combs, on State Highway Two, just outside Hastings, in October 2015.

When staff investigated they discovered he had built “a significant number of buildings” on the property, the vast majority of which were non-compliant with the Building Act.

There were 35 buildings on the property. Building consent had only been obtained for four of them.


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Some were used as rental accommodation, some were used as permanent dwelling houses, and others were used as offices and commercial work spaces.

Several buildings had plumbing that led shower and bath waste to soak pits, and at least two were considered dangerous.

Combs, a director of two construction companies; Superior Roofing Ltd and Superior Rigging and Scaffolding Ltd, appeared in Hastings District Court on Tuesday and pleaded guilty to seven charges breaching the Building Act in relation to ten of the buildings. 

He was sentenced in Hastings District Court on Wednesday. Judge Geoff Rea fined him $3000 on each charge.

Combs had worked with council to remove and or fix the non compliant buildings and council said his conduct had been very good once the offending had come to light.

Combs began his 12-year building spree in late 2003 by converting a woolshed to a residential building. Despite being advised two years earlier to get a building consent, he carried out the work without one.

Later builds by Combs included some chalet style buildings, an interlinking two shed-caravan arrangement, and various structures including shipping containers, an outdoor shower and a bath.



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