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Apartment resident vents to the council over exposure to smoke and fumes

Restaurant exhaust fumes are causing ventilation issues in a new high-rise apartment block, a resident says.

Smoke and fumes from restaurants on the ground floor of a West Auckland apartment building are forcing some occupants to keep their windows shut.

Merchant Quarter resident Simon Gaines said the recent heat wave had made matters worse for the "desperate" dwellers in New Lynn.

"It is impossible to keep windows and doors open," he said during an appeal for help at the Whau Local Board meeting on December 13.

Auckland Council was tight-lipped about the possible fiasco but confirmed it was investigating the issue.

However, Gaines said the council was tied up in bureaucracy instead of finding a solution.

He said he feared for residents' health if ventilation was not fixed immediately.

The two eateries on the ground floor were Mexicali Fresh and Elegance Chinese Restaurant.

An Auckland Council five-storey car park was located above the restaurants and the affected apartments were added on top last year.

Auckland Council compliance Investigations team manager Kerri Fergusson said the issue was being investigated.

"Auckland Council has been made aware of this issue and we have started an investigation.

"The investigation is ongoing, so we are not in a position to comment further at this stage."

Whau Local Board chairwoman Tracy Mulholland said the board was working with the council's regulatory team to understand the next steps.

"Officers have been working to find both short-term and long-term solutions, but we have now stressed the need for urgent resolution to this matter."

A representative of Mexicali Fresh said he had not been made aware of the issue by council and he could not comment until he had looked into the problem.

Elegance Chinese Restaurant said the council had been in contact with them and they were looking at improving the system, but it was unlikely any changes would be made in 2017.

The affected block of apartments was a part of the Merchant Quarter development that already featured a 10-storey apartment tower and building with 110 one-and-two-bedroom apartments.

The construction cost of the second stage of Merchant Quarter was $60 million.

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