In the world of real estate Martin Honey’s always been considered safe as houses. Now the walls are closing in on the high-flying Auckland agent. In the first part of a special Whaleoil investigation, we explain why.
by Stephen Cook
THE HIGH COURT has delivered a major shot in the arm to one of the protagonists in a long-running Auckland real estate dispute with a ruling this week which threatens to turn the entire case on its head.
After six gruelling years, consumer rights advocate Dermot Nottingham, his brother Phillip along with Robert McKinney finally have something to celebrate after a court ruling clearing the way for a re-examination of crucial evidence in their six-year slugfest with real estate agent Martin Honey. Rounds one and two may have gone the way of Honey, but McKinney and the Nottingham brothers have claimed the high ground in the decisive third after successfully appealing the findings of the Real Estate Agents Disciplinary Tribunal.
The ruling opens the door for more legal action against Honey by the three men who with costs are believed to out-of-pocket to the tune of at least half a million dollars.
They also have set their sights on a group of National MPs who supported Honey throughout the six-year ordeal.
The Nottingham’s and McKinney took the matter to the High Court challenging the tribunal’s refusal to lay misconduct charges against Honey for “duplicitous business practices” dating back to 2009 which they say ended up costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The appellants also claimed Honey laid a “false retaliatory complaint” with the Authority back in 2011 alleging Dermot Nottingham attempted to intimidate he and his wife with “militant style thug threats”.
After twice being knocked back by the organisation governing real estate agents, the three men decided to file an appeal in the High Court, claiming “corrupt, dishonest and immoral” practices on the part of the tribunal.
In a 40-page judgement in favour of the appellants, Justice Susan Thomas took serious issue with the tribunal’s handling of the case. Read more »