The designers of Seascape Apartments have previously submitted a request of approval to only install one stairwell, rather than two, for its top-floor penthouses.

The ruling should have been issued within three months, but it has been a year since the inquiry has been submitted and the designers have not yet heard back.

“MBIE accepts the statutory decision timeline of 60 days has been exceeded with this determination,” Ministry of Business, said Katie Gordon, Innovation and Employment determinations manager.

“There has been substantial volumes of information and viewpoints to consider in this assessment, and it is important that the information is given adequate consideration to arrive at the best determinations outcome.”

Seascape Apartments’ general manager Harrison Shao had stated that marketing activity would start during the construction period, and that the quality of the building’s fit-out would reassure purchasers.

Despite the fire design problem, the construction of the apartment building began on Customs Street in February.

Early last year, Auckland Council identified problems in the building’s fire design and urged its fire engineer to seek a ministry determination.

However, since the ruling was ongoing, the council could not offer any comments.

Fire engineers have pointed out that the ministry has not adequately addressed fire rules relating to tall buildings due to an overhaul of fire regulations couple years back.

The changes to related policies have been in effect since March, and they are aimed at unifying fire regulations for tall buildings.

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