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88 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1845710 13-Aug-2017 08:52
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mattwnz:

elpenguino:


richms:


Pay for it, get on with it. These are the risks with property ownership.



FWIW a friend of mine wanted to build on a section which had been idle much longer than the surrounding sections. They discovered the neighbour's sewer went through the part of the section where they wanted to put the house.


So yepp, they paid to have the pipes re-routed to a non-built part of the section.


Not saying you have no legal recourse, but FFS some times you just have to move on with your life and make shi-ite happen. As others said, you will be living next door to these people.....



 


I think you would have to look at the different costs involved with different options. I think some basic legal advice is a good idea.  


Could the OP hire a digger or dig the trench by hand to reroute it, and do most of the hard work themselves, and then just get a plumber in to do the actual plumbing stuff. Then the easement probably needs to be put on the title, and who pays for that. The laws don't seem to benefit the land owner whose land the pipe is on, when they are actually providing the benefit.



I regard to the friend above... it's a great example of the importance of obtaining a LIM which should include a plan showing services. As a neighbour had a drain traversing the property (possibly protected by a centreline or area easement, and certainly subject to section 461 LGA 1974) and located in an area where building is likely then the purchase price should have reflected this.

88 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 13


  Reply # 1845731 13-Aug-2017 09:54
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mattwnz:

elpenguino:


richms:


Pay for it, get on with it. These are the risks with property ownership.



FWIW a friend of mine wanted to build on a section which had been idle much longer than the surrounding sections. They discovered the neighbour's sewer went through the part of the section where they wanted to put the house.


So yepp, they paid to have the pipes re-routed to a non-built part of the section.


Not saying you have no legal recourse, but FFS some times you just have to move on with your life and make shi-ite happen. As others said, you will be living next door to these people.....



 


I think you would have to look at the different costs involved with different options. I think some basic legal advice is a good idea.  


Could the OP hire a digger or dig the trench by hand to reroute it, and do most of the hard work themselves, and then just get a plumber in to do the actual plumbing stuff. Then the easement probably needs to be put on the title, and who pays for that. The laws don't seem to benefit the land owner whose land the pipe is on, when they are actually providing the benefit.



> hire a digger or dig the trench by hand to reroute it...

Could/would need to be a bit careful.... and not sure about "just get a plumber"... Re-routing a sewer pipe is a job for a drainlayer. Many plumbers actually do hold a class of "ticket" as a drainlayer (there's a number of classes these days from those learning the trade, to journeymen to tradesman drainlayers to the full certifying drainlayer) but not all...

There's grade to think about and if the property has a slope to it the proposed route will need to consider this. There's also benching requirements and backfilling to consider.

I was at a recent branch meeting of a professional institute I belong to (BOINZ - Building Officials Institute of New Zealand) and there was a really revealing presentation by the NZ Plumbers, Gasfitters and Drainlayers Board... you mention Watercare which makes me think "AUCKLAND!" and I can attest that "the board" is actively tracking and prosecuting instances of illegal drainlaying work... it's a massive issue up there compared to other parts of NZ!

To the original poster: You appear to have two issues....

(1) The "contamination" - what is the nature of this contamination. The legislation is reasonably clear about insanitary situations. The argument of "how bad" and the exact nature seems to be one, perhaps more pressing in the short term, issue to deal with sooner than later.
(2) At some point in the future you desire to carry out building work on a part of your property affected by a drain owned by another party. Has it been clearly established who owns the drain? If it's the neighbour then it's a "civil matter" between you and them. They have rights under an Act of Parliament which allows them ongoing use of the drain and the ability to maintain it. In these cases the neighbour wanting to do something generally makes a sales-pitch type argument and sells the idea to the neighbour. Being a civil matter you could, with neighbours permission, build over the drain and protect the legal rights by ensuring there are inspection points at either end under the building. Offen the drain under the building is re-laid so it's new and at the beginning of it's life. The neighbour may be nervous about this so re-routing it could be pitched to them with their benefit being that they get part of their sewer lateral re-newed (normally pitched at no cost to them). Unfortunately these situations do come down to some pragmatic neighbour relations.
If the pipe is deemed as a public pipe you are somewhat at the mercy of the desires of the local T.A. (territorial authority) and their maintenance contractors. In such cases early discussion with the T.A. is the best first step.


 
 
 
 


349 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 126


  Reply # 1845760 13-Aug-2017 10:39
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UncleArk:
mattwnz:

 

elpenguino:

 

 

 

richms:

 

 

 

Pay for it, get on with it. These are the risks with property ownership.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FWIW a friend of mine wanted to build on a section which had been idle much longer than the surrounding sections. They discovered the neighbour's sewer went through the part of the section where they wanted to put the house.

 

 

 

So yepp, they paid to have the pipes re-routed to a non-built part of the section.

 

 

 

Not saying you have no legal recourse, but FFS some times you just have to move on with your life and make shi-ite happen. As others said, you will be living next door to these people.....

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think you would have to look at the different costs involved with different options. I think some basic legal advice is a good idea.  

 

 

 

Could the OP hire a digger or dig the trench by hand to reroute it, and do most of the hard work themselves, and then just get a plumber in to do the actual plumbing stuff. Then the easement probably needs to be put on the title, and who pays for that. The laws don't seem to benefit the land owner whose land the pipe is on, when they are actually providing the benefit.

 



I regard to the friend above... it's a great example of the importance of obtaining a LIM which should include a plan showing services. As a neighbour had a drain traversing the property (possibly protected by a centreline or area easement, and certainly subject to section 461 LGA 1974) and located in an area where building is likely then the purchase price should have reflected this.

 

I never got into that much detail with my friend (my bolding) - I guess when you get the legal beagles involved , there can be LOT of detail.

 

He didn't seem too bothered when he mentioned what he had been required to do. I am guessing that it was a small part of the costs to build his house and drainlayers were on site for his needs anyway. Good news is he gets on well with the neighbours.


12 posts

Geek


  Reply # 1845764 13-Aug-2017 10:55
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It seems to me that what you need is a judgment on who is to pay.  Have you asked the District court if the court will hear the issue. This is an ajudication process made by a sole adjudicator.  If they will hear it you can take it to them for a decision for about $50 and the defenders are not allowed to use a solicitor. That is the way I would go.  It is a process that you should learn for many of life's complications like this and in my experience is very effective


2216 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 219


  Reply # 1845774 13-Aug-2017 11:40
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Assuming driller2000 is correct that the pipeline is now Watercare's negotiation seems the best tactic. An overly legalistic approach could mean the whole route of the pipe has to be changed and that could easily put it over the Disputes Tribunal. $ cap.

1031 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 707

Subscriber

  Reply # 1845787 13-Aug-2017 12:46
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mattwnz:

 

It would be good if there was a precedent set somewhere that can be referred to. I guess a good lawyer may know about similar cases.

 

 

I currently work for a listed utility owner that is in the business of delivering not water (don't want to be more specific than that) -- you're kidding yourself if you think these kinds of issues can be resolved just be looking at a couple of previous cases. My team (as part of its job of doing many other things) look into resolving disputes of a similar nature and getting to an answer can sometimes take weeks. Your average lawyer would not have the foggiest of clue on these issues.

 

Just a few general observations:

 

     

  1. People need to distinguish between whether the pipe complies with current standard versus whether it was standard compliant when it was laid. Generally speaking, unless something is causing a nuisance, health and safety hazard, and the like, the owner of the utility is not obligated to bring something old to the current standard.
  2. People advising the OP to deliberately block the pipe are insane. Its existence and continuing use may be covered by legislative or by-laws base existing use rights, in which case the OP will be committing trespass (or worse - see below) for interfering with it.
  3. In many cases, deliberately damaging and interfering with public utilities is a criminal offence.
  4. Any losses arising out of the commissioning of a criminal offence on one's land voids the public liability component of the OP's house insurance (minimum), if not the whole insurance policy. If the OP has a mortgage, it's the standard condition of every mortgage that the mortgagor holds a valid and acceptable insurance over the property.
  5. The absence of such insurance entitles the mortgagee to potentially immediately demand full repayment of the loan.

 

 

 

The OP needs to approach this more rationally than most here are suggesting. Make a formal, written complaint and provide photos and other evidence. You might have already done so. If you feel you're getting no traction, write a polite letter to the General Counsel of Watercare. Any letter written directly to the Head of Legal always gets attention -- just don't get abusive or threaten people with lawyering up, suing or whatever, unless you know you're on solid ground. Any corporate has a decent legal team, along with highly intelligent legally-qualified people in risk and other functions that frankly will be far better than any lawyer than your Average Joe/Jo typically has access to. Most utilities in my experience (both working for one and having assisted people in dealing with them as a legal advisor) want to do the right things using a limited budget.




56 posts

Master Geek


  Reply # 1846845 15-Aug-2017 08:50
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Hi thats good advice, and advice we were currently aware of and pursuing.

That is our approach at the moment.

rgs tradertim



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