22 Jun 2020

Kaye confronts Stamford Hotel over legal action threat

From Checkpoint, 5:10 pm on 22 June 2020

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye is writing to Auckland Stamford Plaza, ministers, and the Ombudsman after legal action was threatened against residents who went public with concerns about managed isolation.

Last Friday, RNZ's Checkpoint revealed several bus loads of returning travellers would be arriving at the Stamford, an Auckland hotel where some spaces are shared with permanent residents, the next day to isolate for 14 days.

Permanent residents living in apartments at the top of the building went public with their concerns saying the shared areas meant it was not possible to completely separate residents and incoming travellers. Many of the residents are older and have health issues. 

The hotel owner, Stamford Land Corporation LTD, has since sent some of the residents legal letters blaming their "wrongful interference" for the Ministry of Health pulling out of the isolation contract. 

The letter goes on to say "Stamford Hotel and Resorts has, through your misconduct, suffered substantial damages and losses... we are at the moment quantifying such damages and losses. Take notice that we will be seeking from you the full compensation of such damages and losses including any legal costs.

Residents said they saw the letter as heavy handed.

Checkpoint has contacted the Stamford Plaza's management, financial controller and its legal counsel for comment but have not heard back.

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye is equally concerned about the rights of those who live there and told the programme she would be sending a communication to Stamford and ministers shortly.

Auckland Central MP Nikki Kaye the day before a vote on the National Party's leadership. She is understood to be running on a ticket with Todd Muller.

Photo: RNZ / Dom Thomas

"I am concerned for residents. I think what they're asking for is entirely reasonable - to understand what is going on in their building and whether they're going to have people isolating. I think they have every right to understand that."

Her communication asks that residents of the Stamford get some clear guidance on what is occurring. 

"I'm still trying to get to the bottom of the situation. I think the communication has not been good from either health agencies or the Stamford and I will be fighting to get urgent clarity about what's going on."

Kaye said the Stamford had escalated the situation with its legal threats, which was not helpful to anyone.

She said she was also writing to the Ombudsman with her complaints but says that communication is a bit wider than just the Stamford.

"I know the ombudsman have said they are going to be investigating these [managed isolation] facilities, but I want to make sure they are doing that sooner rather than later."