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Smith: Govt 'head in sand' over leaky homes

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 1 April, 2003

Smith: Govt 'head in sand' over leaky homes

The Government's refusal to survey the extent of the leaky homes problem, despite a select committee call for it to do so, is a 'head in the sand' position, United Future's Murray Smith said today.

Last week, Mr Smith, a member of the Government Administration Select Committee, sought an assurance in Parliament from Commerce Minister Lianne Dalziel that such a review would be carried out.

However Ms Dalziel stated that the Government was looking at protecting future houses from weathertightness problems and, other than monitoring the use of the new resolution service, would not investigate the problem further.

"This is clearly totally unsatisfactory," Mr Smith said.

"There may well be a huge number of New Zealand homes slowly rotting to the core, and the Government is doing the 'hear no evil, see no evil' thing."

Mr Smith pointed to a Unitec survey published in December 2000 that estimated that 50 percent of Auckland homes built in the previous 10 years had weathertightness problems.

"We urgently need to know whether or not this is true nationwide," Mr Smith said.

"If it is, then a major publicity campaign would be necessary to get New Zealand homeowners to check there houses. Otherwise we may well find that the problems discovered thus far are only the tip of a very large iceberg and the social cost of that discovery would be huge.

The Government is foolish if it thinks this problem will just go away, he said.


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