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BIA's $10 Million Slush Fund - Who Grabs It?

BIA's $10 Million Slush Fund - Who Grabs It?

The Government should come clean on what it intends to do with the $10 million plus the Building Industry Authority has accumulated, now that the BIA is to be absorbed into a government department, ACT New Zealand Consumer Affairs Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"This money appears to have been gathered improperly. Papers released to me under the Official Information Act show the BIA has been `overcharging through its cost-recovery fees'. The Government should be required to now pay that money back to all those New Zealanders who paid too much for their building consents.

"While the BIA has offered to return $1.1 million to the Crown from its accumulated reserves, there remains the problem of the extra $10 million or so.

"Treasury has advised the Minister of Finance that before more of the BIA's reserves can be returned to the Crown, `the appropriateness' of this money's origin `needs to be confirmed'," Miss Coddington said.

ACT can provide confirmation of the "appropriateness". Money that has been overcharged should be given back to those who paid it in the first place. Local authorities throughout New Zealand, many of whom are facing severe litigation costs from owners of leaky homes - costs which will be passed on to ratepayers - should demand an explanation - and a payback - from government over this slush fund," Miss Coddington said.

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