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BRANZ Expresses Full Confidence in Road Reports

10 June 2005

BRANZ Expresses Full Confidence in its Invergarry Road Reports

BRANZ chief executive, Peter Robertson, has stated that BRANZ has full confidence in the findings of its independent reports into the condition of two Invergarry Road properties in Taupo - reports that are the first stage of an ongoing monitoring programme.

Mr Robertson was responding to a recent Sinclair Knight Mertz (SKM) report, commissioned and made public by the Taupo District Council, which alleges limitations to the scope of the BRANZ report.

Both the BRANZ reports and the subsequent SKM report relate to an ongoing dispute as to whether the Invergarry properties had been affected by subsidence caused by the extraction of geothermal fluids in the area. BRANZ's reports found that the condition of the two properties was consistent with normal wear and tear and a lack of maintenance.

"BRANZ was engaged with the agreement of Contact Energy and Taupo District Council to provide independents report into the condition of the Invergarry Rd properties," says Mr Robertson.

"BRANZ has carefully reviewed the SKM report and while we have our own concerns about aspects of the SKM report, we do not think it is helpful to anyone to engage in a public debate over technical detail. The bottom line is that, having reviewed the SKM report, BRANZ stands by the finding and opinions in its own reports - which are based on careful analysis and extensive experience with house surveys over many years.

"At the same time, BRANZ recognises the Invergarry property dispute is both complex and sensitive, and the more information the better as far as the confidence of all parties is concerned. For that reason, the two reports BRANZ has so far produced form just part of a monitoring programme of the Invergarry Road properties that will stretch out over at least the next 12 months," says Mr Robertson.

ENDS


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