Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Information leads to council requirements changes

MEDIA RELEASE

4 December 2003

New building information leads to changes

in council requirements

Auckland City's building application, consent, inspection and compliance requirements are to be enhanced following information received from the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (WHRS), which backs up the assessment of claims made against the council.

This information, along with the Kelleway adjudication has resulted in a revision of the way in which the council approves and inspects houses using monolithic cladding.

The Kelleway adjudication (an October WHRS case ruling involving Waitakere City) provides clear guidance about what the council needs to do during inspections to be "satisfied on reasonable grounds" of granting building code compliance and points to potential liability for the council and ratepayers.

In December last year Auckland City led the response to the weathertightness issue by being the first territorial authority to require a cavity, and other technical improvements, for "high risk' buildings using monolithic claddings.

"High risk' buildings adopt a "Mediterranean" appearance of plaster and adobe finishes. Typically, the style can be identified by flush plaster finishes, lack of eaves, use of parapets and with balconies both internal and external to the building's principal form.

The City has now received information from the WHRS, analysing 208 claims nationally.

"This information leads us to believe that all buildings using monolithic cladding require the same technical improvements that we introduced last year for "high risk' buildings," said Mr Paul Sonderer, director customer services.

"Without these technical improvements we cannot be sure that the building complies with the building code.

"Because of this new information, the need to protect building owners and the potential future financial risk to ratepayers, we have decided to act quickly and decisively in terms of what the city requires for all buildings currently being built, or about to be built, using monolithic cladding.

"The WHRS has received more than 2000 claims, 930 of those are in Auckland City. Our insurance excess is $2 million per claim so the potential risk to ratepayers, should claims succeed in whole or part, could run into millions. Nationwide, ratepayers confront a potential bill running into tens of millions. We need to act to protect ratepayers from the bill continuing to escalate in the future," said Mr Sonderer.

While each building will be assessed on a case by case basis the broad decision is that all buildings using any form of monolithic cladding, irrespective of design, will now require a cavity, adequate mechanical flashings which do not rely on sealants, and waterproof covering over parapets and balconies.

This decision was applied last year to high-risk buildings but has been extended to apply to:

- all building applications yet to be submitted, or currently submitted and being processed, as part of the building consent process

- all consented buildings, either yet to start construction or currently under construction, as part of the inspection process

- all completed but uncertified buildings, as part of the code compliance certificate (CCC) process.

There are three types of monolithic cladding systems on the market; traditional stucco plaster, Proprietary Plaster Systems (EIFS) and fibre cement.

"The council recognises this will result in unplanned expense for some homeowners. Acting in any other way, however, would simply be irresponsible, as there are just too many areas of doubt," Mr Sonderer said.

If the council has any doubt about whether or not a particular building complies with the code, it will advise the homeowner and or builder. Council will then issue a notice to rectify. This outlines what the council needs the homeowner and or builder to rectify so that the doubt is removed. They will be advised they have two alternatives, either comply with the notice to rectify, in that case apply for a variation to their consent, or seek a determination from the Building Industry Authority (BIA). When the BIA becomes involved, it will decide whether or not the building is code compliant and Auckland City is required to act on that advice.

"The BIA has the skills and expertise to make judgements in these areas that we could follow. Meetings are already occurring to discuss ways in which the BIA could help both homeowners and the council," Mr Sonderer said.

"We have done all we can to rectify this issue, talking with the government and the BIA looking for clear guidance on what is and isn't code compliant.

"The council is acting in the long-term interest of both ratepayers and homeowners by taking the most prudent and responsible option available," Mr Sonderer said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news