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National moves to provide solutions on leaky homes

National moves to provide solutions

Hon Bill English - National Party Leader

National is proposing a Weathertightness Tribunal as a practical way to help homeowners suffering losses from the leaky homes syndrome, says National Party Leader Bill English.

“The Government’s answer that people should go to their lawyer isn’t practical. This problem could reach plague proportions nationwide. The legal process is too expensive for ordinary people and it will take so long, their homes could be condemned by the time they get to court.

“This is a crisis affecting thousands of people. Even now buildings will be under construction that you can guarantee in years to come, will result in identical problems. Speed is crucial in moving the issue forward.

“The formation of a Weathertightness Tribunal would achieve cost effectiveness, an informal process and be consensus seeking.

“A District Court Judge would chair the Tribunal, mediation would be an initial integral step, and if no agreement were reached, then it would go to a panel that in turn would reach a binding decision.

“The best legislative vehicle to set up the Tribunal would be the Construction Contracts Bill 2001.The Bill is already before Parliament and is on the order paper waiting for its second reading.

“National will next week move a motion in the House that the second reading of the Bill be discharged, and that the Bill be referred to the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee and for it to report back to the House by October 15 this year.

“We must move quickly to restore public confidence in home ownership which is a cornerstone of the New Zealand way of life,” says Mr English.

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