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Local Government meeting on leaky buildings

23 September 2002 Media Statement

Minister welcomes Local Government meeting on leaky buildings

Today’s meeting of Local Government Authorities to discuss ways to address the needs of owners of leaking buildings is a welcome move, Internal Affairs Minister George Hawkins says.

The meeting was called following the release last Tuesday of the Overview Group on the Weathertightness of Buildings Report, prepared for the Building Industry Authority and known as the Hunn Report.

Speaking after addressing the meeting, Mr Hawkins thanked Local Government Authority chair, Basil Morrison, for the group’s quick response in calling the meeting.

“Responding swiftly by calling a meeting of local government representatives, indicates the willingness of this group to find a way forward,” Mr Hawkins said.

He was pleased that in the six days since the report’s release, significant progress had already been made, with the Building Industry Authority already beginning work on a number of issues raised in the Report.

The work of the original Overview Group will be completed in mid-October with a further report into issues around buildings’ weathertightness.

“In the meantime, the Group is also looking at other areas of the Building Act for possible inclusion into the current Building Act review.”

Mr Hawkins said a Bill to be introduced next year to implement the Review’s legislative recommendations, would provide further opportunity for any amendments the Overview Group came up with to be included.

Mr Hawkins said he believed people needed answers for their difficulties with less than watertight buildings now, rather than later.

“A meeting convened at my direction by the Building Industry Authority of major players in the building industry and associated sectors will be held on 11 October at the Sheraton Hotel in Auckland.

“It is also why, rather than favouring a drawn out and expensive public inquiry, I last week suggested the Government Administration Select Committee begin the process of looking into weathertightness issues raised in the Hunn Report.

“I was particularly pleased the five members of that Committee, including National MPs Murray McCully and Pansy Wong, unanimously endorsed my suggestion. I believe this showed a pleasing commitment within Parliament to work together to find solutions.”

Moves by a number of Councils around the country to begin mediation with homeowners affected by leaking buildings were to be applauded, Mr Hawkins said.

“However, while much progress has already been made over the issue in a very short timeframe, what’s clear is this is a complex problem involving a number of sectors.

“It is also clear that individual situations will have to be looked at on a case by case basis,” Mr Hawkins said.


ENDS

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