Days to the General Election: 27
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.

Auckland Council says it has spent more than $1m on legal proceedings against property developer/manager Augustine Lau and has only been awarded $407k in costs and fines

Auckland Council says it has spent more than $1m on legal proceedings against property developer/manager Augustine Lau and has only been awarded $407k in costs and fines

Auckland ratepayers have spent over a million dollars on legal fees to try to curtail the dodgy dealings of property manager and developer, Augustine Lau.

Auckland Council confirms it has spent $1.05 million on the many legal proceedings it’s taken against Lau and his associates in recent years, in relation to 10 properties.

Yet it’s only been awarded $388,121 in costs by the Courts and $18,900 in fines.

The Council has applied for a further $245,698 in costs and anticipates further fines.

Yet Lau (also known as Ee Kuoh Lau) was on May 10 declared bankrupt.

Much of Lau’s offending stems from the role he has played helping Chinese investors buy residential property in Auckland, before illegally modifying the properties to cram more tenants on to them.

A number of the properties had effectively been turned into slums, with a non-compliant sewerage system in one instance leaking raw sewage into a stream nearby.

“The issues were such that they had the potential to seriously impact on the health and wellbeing of occupants and action had to be taken,” an Auckland Council spokesperson says.

Lau’s situation really came to a head at the end of last year, when the overseas investors he’d been working with started defaulting on their mortgages; Lau telling they wanted out after things started turning to custard and the property market showed signs of slowing.

Yet it took Lau damaging six protected pōhutukawa trees and one totara, blocking the view at a property in Waiwera, for him to be sent to jail in January for 10 weeks.

Auckland Council says a case is still underway further to “extensive alleged offending” under the Building Act 2004 and Resource Management Act 1991 at six properties related to Lau’s previous convictions.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


I doubt the council have "received" anything. They have judgements for costs and fines. But the guy is bankrupt and any money he did make has been well hidden by now. Would a private company or person spend a million dollars on legal proceedings considering the likely outcome?

And Council are not going to receive anything either .

If Auckland Council had just one commercially astute person in its ranks they would have approached the High Court and secured a freezing order to prevent the Banks selling the properties in a Mortgagee Sale

That may sound extreme , but our environment is way more important than the profits of Aussie Banks .

It would set a precedent and ensure that Aussie Banks in NZ were more circumspect in who they lend to


He makes other hardworking immigrants look bad. Fine, seize related assets, revoke citizenship and deport.


What he did was outrageous and he deserved 10 years not 10 weeks for persistent and deliberate deception.
try to do something legal with Auckland Council and they have you jumping through hoops and emptying your wallet just to satisfy sometimes draconian rules and regulations.
I hope his passport has been impounded until he makes reparations. At that point deport him.


Every day in the news it's the same stuff. We've let a whole bunch of people in the country who seem to think financial fraud is a way of life.

If the only check we put on migrants is how much money they have, then we will be in for a lot more of this!


And on that note, I see China released a list (with pictures) of it's "100 most wanted financial criminals" recently. I recognised 3 of them as Auckland property developers.

[ Offensive comment removed. Ed ]

[ removed. Ed ]

His last name is 'Lau' - mainland chinese typically don't use 'non-standard' romanisations for their names, so I did a little digging. He's Malaysian.

Seems the CCCP is doing some editing.

Whatever he is , he is a crook and we dont want such people, migrants or not

In many non-western countries fraud and corruption is an acceptable thing. It keeps thing ticking.
We don't want it here

Hi Boatman,

Well spoken.

I second that.


And the buyers of the Mortgagee sale properties HAVE NOT restored the Kauri and other indigenous vegetation he bulldozed at Number 56 Albany Highway Greenhithe in terms of the Court Order , nor have the buyers of 31 Chester made that property safe .

Council enforcement of Environmental laws is a disgrace , but God help you if Council issue you a parking ticket and you fail to pay it

Auckland Council ethics have always been for sale to the highest bidder. (That's why most their advertising is poor redirection). Look at the issues in Okura, Takapuna, Birkenhead. AT transport is just one of the more corrupt branches. Many developers who play the game can easily get the desired 'less then negligible effects' stamp no matter the environmental, public, private and often human costs. Easily to play the game & watch the destruction of any integrity. The level visible in council meetings is almost tragic. If you were a developer you need to frame the project in the right way with the right donation. Many just think NZ corruption is a simple bribe when really it is a bribe with extra steps. Lau is just someone who did not play the game right, he makes a good target to feign a semblance of doing anything to such a bare faced ass of things. When really Auckland has been mired in filth for decades, only fools wade in without getting their shots up to date & never swallow the pictures they market.

Days to the General Election: 27
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.