The operator of a Kaikohe pub says the council is trying to use the Fire Service to run him out of town.
Last week the Far North District Council issued the Kaikohe Hotel with a dangerous building notice, giving publican Neal Summers and building owner Cameron Enterprises 10 days to fix a series of fire safety failings. If the December 14 deadline is not met, the council can ask the court to order them to carry out the work, or have the building closed down and boarded up.
However, Mr Summers said carrying out the fire safety work demanded by the council within 10 days was impossible, because it required a building consent which took up to 20 days to issue.
"They are using the Fire Service to achieve their aims, which is to get me out of here," Mr Summers said.
But the Fire Service said it had followed proper process and stood by its assessment of the hotel as a dangerous building.
The failings identified by an Auckland-based fire officer last month included problems with the sprinkler system, a lack of early-warning smoke detection systems and inadequate fire-rated construction. Other concerns relate to a disused wing of the building which has had its windows and ceiling removed.
The Fire Service's Muriwhenua area manager, Allan Kerrisk, said issuing the notice was not done lightly.
"But there are good reasons for it. Buildings have to be safe not only for the people living in them, but also for our firefighters if we have to go in there to rescue people."
The notice detailed the requirements and put the matter into the hands of the courts if the faults were not remedied.
Mr Kerrisk said he knew first-hand the effects a fire could have in a large wooden building, even one that did meet the rules.
When working in Hamilton he was the last fire officer to carry out a safety inspection at the New Empire Hotel, and the driver of the first fire engine to arrive when it burnt down in 1995 with the loss of six lives.
The Kaikohe Hotel was "not dissimilar" to the New Empire, he said.