Colin Leuschke

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Colin Leuschke (born 1949) is a Auckland Architect. He was also a Local body politician.

Early life

Leuschke spent his childhood in Auckland and received his secondary education at St Peter's College, Grafton. He studied architecture at the University of Auckland.

Architecture

Leuschke has been a very active architect in Auckland. His firm, Leuschke Group Architects, designed the Hilton Hotel and apartment/office complex on Princes Wharf. Leuschke was also responsible for many apartment and other developments in Auckland. Leuschke was particularly affected by the Leaky homes crisis. For example, the owners of one development on Eden Terrace sued his firm for nearly $2,000,000. Colin Leuschke voluntarily put his firm into liquidation in July 2007 and set up a new firm, Leuschke Architects, free of the contingent legal liabilities of the previous entity.[1] At the time of the liquidation, Leuschke Group Architects was also facing, with others, a $3,000,000 claim involving an eight-year-old 87 unit apartment block built on Morningside Drive in Auckland. Leuschke said that the position of Leuschke Group Architects was "untenable" because the company faced several lawsuits. "It's like we're being sued endlessly. We don't know how many more there are. It's like playing Russian roulette... We've been living with this for years. It's a horror story, not just for the homeowners." At the same time, the Government was being urged to prevent companies from avoiding paying compensation to homeowners by liquidating as Leuschke had done as this tactic clearly disadvantaged homeowners.[2]

Local government

Leuschke was first elected a member of the Hobson Community Board in 2001 and ceased to be a member by 2010 when it was abolished. He was generally aligned with the Citizens and Ratepayers Now grouping which was led by John Banks. Amongst his other contributions, Leuschke opposed increased protections for heritage buildings in Parnell, stating that certain proposed changes would make it even more difficult for businesses to expand and grow in Parnell.[3] In relation to an application to hold the national jet ski championships in the Orakei Basin, Leuschke said in relation to the opposition from affected residents, that the people who lived around the basin behaved as if they had a "private pool" and that "they chose to live there, so they should accept the activities in the basin".[4] In 2009 Leuschke was criticised when he was involved in designing a masterplan for a development in Orakei promoted by then Mayor, John Banks.[5]

Friends

In 2007 John Key was criticised for being involved in a company with Leuschke at the time Leuschke Group Architects was liquidated. Key and Leuschke were both directors of the Earl of Auckland company. The link between them was seized on by the New Zealand Labour Party in the lead-up to the 2008 New Zealand General Election. John Key dismissed the attack as a smear. He said that he had been friends with Leuschke for 20 years, but had nothing to do with his architecture firm. The only business involvement was through Earl of Auckland, which owned a single building in Newmarket.[6] Leuschke is a personal friend of Rod Petricevic, former managing director of Bridgecorp Holdings.[7]

External source

Notes

  1. Anne Gibson, "Architect: claims on leaky buildings ruining profession", The New Zealand Herald, 6 August 2007. (Retrieved 19 December 2012)
  2. "Leaky tactic under fire", Stuff, 12 August 2007. (Retrieved 19 December 2012)
  3. James O'Connor, "Fears protecting Parnell's past will stunt his future", Stuff News, East and Bays Courier, 28 November 2001.
  4. Jenny Keown, "Critics say residents reluctant to share Orakei Basin", Stuff News, East and Bays Courier, 2 October 2002.
  5. Bernard Orsman, "Leaky buildings architect part of Orakei project", The New Zealand Herald, 22 September 2009 (Retrieved 19 December 2012)
  6. Martin Kay, "Key rejects Labour claims", The Press, 24 August 2007, p. 2.
  7. "Bridgecorp Investigation - The buck stops where?", The New Zealand Herald, 10 August 2007. (Retrieved 19 December 2012)

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