Property Investment Gone Wrong for Singapore Buyers

New Zealand Property Dispute


A property investor never wants their nightmare of losing money in a foreign real estate investment come true. Something similar happened to many Malaysian and Singapore investors. They lost money in a mega project planned in New Zealand but a little hope seems to be alive yet.

Overseas Property Investment
Overseas Property Investment


Singapore Investors Win Appeal in the Case

An appeal was registered with the Court of Appeal of New Zealand and it has decided that the investors are legally entitled to earn their return of NZ$10 million in deposits. Moreover, they are not supposed to come with the NZ$36 million for the damages that was demanded in a counterclaim. This decision has successfully overturned an earlier decision rules by the High Court of New Zealand.


There were a total of 109 investors who had bought into this mega project. The project was worth NZ$2 billion. The project of Kawarau Falls was planned to be an integrated world class village resort that was supposed to feature three five star hotels, a four plus star hotel and three services apartment buildings. The project was to be developed in three stages located at the shores of Lake Wakatipu near Queenstown. The investors had decided to buy off-pan units in the two buildings for stage 1, from 2006 to 2009.


Unfortunately for the investors, a financial crisis of global scale had hit. The developer was placed into receivership. Stage 1 of the entire development process was completed by the receivers but stages 2 and 3 were postponed.


The investors were issued settlement notices in 2011 for their purchases by a company who had been responsible for allotting the vendor rights. However, none of the investor was settled and this was a result of an alleged breach of contract.


Later on, the company cancelled all of the sale and purchase agreements. Moreover, when the investors carried out a court order to request the return of their deposits, the company issued a counterclaim for damages stating loss of bargain. Finally, the Court of Appeal of New Zealand issued out a ruling stating that the vendors’ responsibility for the completion of stages 2 and 3 should be treated as a significant term of the sale and purchase agreements.


In the process of winning the appeal in this dispute, the investors were also allowed to gain 75% of their legal costs. The sum of how much is going to be paid is still being calculated. On the other hand, only 71 out of the 109 investors who had to go through this difficult and stressful episode followed the entire case to the very end. Many of the remaining investors decided to settle by paying a portion of the damages.


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