17 Apr 2024

Former building inspector accused of bribery and corruption

11:03 am on 17 April 2024
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The former building inspector faces 21 charges of corruption and bribery. File photo. Photo: 123RF

A former Auckland council building inspector and a company director are facing charges for bribery and corruption.

The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has filed 21 charges of corruption and bribery against Nicholas Bright, claiming he received cash bribes and other benefits as a building inspector between 2018 and 2020.

The Auckland building company director - who has interim name suppression - faces 23 charges of corruption and bribery of an official.

The defendants appeared at Manukau District Court on Tuesday, where the company director pleaded not guilty.

Bright did not enter a plea and will reappear in court next month.

Auckland Council referred the case to the SFO after carrying out its own investigations.

"Investigating potential corruption of public officials, particularly where health and safety may be compromised, is one of the SFO's current strategic areas of focus," said SFO director Karen Chang.

Auckland Council director of regulatory services Craig Hobbs said the council could not comment on details of the case while it was before the court, but wanted to emphasise how seriously it took such situations.

"Taking advantage of our systems and behaving in the manner alleged is not only against the law but it is a breach of our trust and is extremely disappointing for everyone working in building consents who take pride in maintaining quality building standards for Aucklanders.

"As soon as we identified this individual's irregular behaviour we commenced an investigation, including an audit of all work done by this individual, and referred the case to the police for further investigation."