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Building report ‘sobering’ says Minister

17 September 2002 Media Statement

Building report ‘sobering’ says Minister

Today’s report on the weathertightness of building was ‘sobering’ but contained positive recommendations for the future, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins says.

“The good news is the report finds that no building constructed in compliance with the Building Code has yet been found to leak,” Mr Hawkins said.

“In other words, weathertightness problems are less associated with the Code itself than determining when buildings comply with it,” he said.

The Report of the Overview Group on the Weathertightness of Buildings, produced for the Building Industry Authority, represented several months excellent work by the three person Overview Group, Mr Hawkins said.

“Basically, they’ve produced a useful, in-depth review of New Zealand’s current building sector and the factors that have led to the advent of a number of leaky buildings,” Mr Hawkins said.

Causes included cutting corners to keep prices down, a preference for building styles posing weathertightness problems, an historic running down of skills within the building industry, lack of knowledge about the use and application of new materials, and gaps in documentation and enforcement.

The report showed no single factor or group could be blamed for problems with leaking buildings. “Instead, it points to multiple causes across the board for the problems. Accordingly, there will be a need for multiple players to be involved in finding solutions,” Mr Hawkins said.

Careful consideration would be made of the report’s 20 recommendations, particularly the need for further research into weathertightness issues, improved methods of testing compliance of the Code, and the development of better industry practice.

“I have asked the BIA to convene a meeting within the month of building industry leaders to discuss weathertightness, as well as ways to improve the sector’s future performance,” Mr Hawkins said.

ENDS

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