Boycott Harcourts Grenadier
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KIA ORA FRIENDS AND FAMILY OF MATTHEW MCEACHEN AND TO THOSE WHO WANT TO SEE SOME KIND OF JUSTICE.
On February 22 2011 our friend Matti McEachen (25) passed away as he fled the building he worked in on the corner of St. Asaph and Colombo Street. He was crushed by falling masonry along with a visitor to our city, Rachel Conley (27). Matti worked for Southern Ink, a popular tattoo studio in the city centre.
After the September 4th Earthquake the Southern Ink building had sustained significant damage. After many engineer visits and subsequent reports, the site was deemed untenantable by engineers and a Harcourts Commercial Property Manager. This same Harcourts employee passed this information and reports on to the owners of the property but failed to let the tenants (Southern Ink) know that they were in grave risk and should not be in the building. Despite the owner of Southern Ink emailing the Harcourts employee with his concerns MULTIPLE times.
The back end of the studio (St. Asaph St side) was later deemed a "red stickered" property. The placard was placed on a St Asaph Street store-front but the placard on the Southern Ink entrance wasn't changed and once again the tenants weren't notified.
This Harcourts employee has escaped criminal conviction and also managed to keep his right to practice as a real estate agent through a disputes tribunal post his charge of misconduct by the REAA in 2015. The tribunal found that this particular employee carried out his work at "below industry standards and expectations" but (with disregarding the deaths of two people) decided it was not "disgraceful misconduct". With the evidence provided their findings proved that this employee knew the building was unsafe and had neglected to pass on this valuable information.
Had he simply notified the tenants two wonderful people would still be alive.
The employee's lawyer in 2016 issued this statement.that he "... had not been contracted to manage the property at the time of the collapse in February 2011." and that they "deny any breach of proper professional standards, and he remains a valued and highly regarded member of NAI Harcourts team."
This employee never did sign a contract with the owners of this building but did however act as their property manager for a period of six months. To the extent of which the Real Estate Agency Tribunal found this excuse was void. He did the work required for half a year, and when approached by the owner of the tattoo studio failed to assert to him that he was not the property manager. Although the owners sought to cancel their "non-existent" contract on Jan 23rd 2011 the cessation of work was never undertaken before the Earthquake hit on February 22nd.
All we are looking for is an admission of fault and an apology to the family and friends of Matti and Rachel and for Harcourts to do the right thing and lead an investigation into what happened with the evidence provided and take action against their employee.
Harcourts have 100% backed their employee so far, an employee who's negligence led to the deaths of two innocent people. People who would be here today if their employee simply said two words... "Get out."
A peaceful protest was held outside of Harcourts Grenadier on Monday 9th April at 11am. Harcourts were notified prior and it had been made clear that a line of discourse had been made open to find suitable resolution. Instead they hired multiple security guards and kept our protest at arms length. Ensuring though to smugly laugh and chuckle at our group.
The Justice system failed us.
The Real Estate Tribunal failed us.
Harcourts have failed us.
Let's show Christchurch that we don't support companies who let this happen.
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