Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Labour budgets $6m to fight owners of leaky homes

Hon Dr Nick Smith
National Party Building and Construction spokesman

10 March 2005

Labour budgets $6m to fight owners of leaky homes

A parliamentary select committee was today told that Labour is to spend $5.9m fighting owners of leaky homes, and that it will not participate in weathertight homes resolution service mediations, despite evidence of failings by the Building Industry Authority.

National’s Building and Construction spokesman, Dr Nick Smith, says it is hypocritical of Labour to be telling builders, designers and councils to resolve issues through the resolution service rather than spend money on court cases, while it refuses to participate and spends millions on lawyers to fight innocent homeowners.

“This is a case of saying one thing but doing the opposite.”

Dr Smith highlighted the case of Tony and Lara Cox, of Whangarei, who spent $190,000 on their home, have a mortgage of $60,000, but who have to find at least $160,000 for repairs. It has been recommended the house be demolished.

“This case highlights Labour’s heartlessness toward the thousands of families that have been caught in this scandal.

“The builder and certifier used by the Cox family have gone broke. The BIA had a legal requirement to ensure the certifier had insurance for ‘any insurable civil liability’ but failed to do so.

Dr Smith revealed at the select committee that the family wrote to the BIA seeking the name of the certifier’s insurer, but were told it could not be released because it was ‘commercially sensitive’.

“The fact was the BIA had not made sure the certifier had proper insurance, in breach of the Act,” says Dr Smith.

“The BIA and its successor, the Department of Building and Housing, have also refused to participate in any WHRS mediation with the Cox family. This leaves the family destitute and with nowhere to go.

“Building and Housing accepted at the select committee that the BIA had got it wrong with the rules over the use of untreated timber and its inadequate insurance arrangements. Those rules were changed last year.

“This contradicts its claims in court and its refusal to participate in mediation on the basis they had done nothing wrong.

“This response from Labour is callous and hypocritical,” says Dr Smith. “The Prime Minister’ s speeches about an ‘ownership society’ ring hollow with this sort of conduct from her Building and Housing Department.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election