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Homeowners misled over timber treatment

12 July 2005

Homeowners misled over timber treatment

National's Building spokesman, Nick Smith, says Building Issues Minister Chris Carter and his department are misleading the public over the latest timber treatment scam.

"The claim by Mr Carter that concerns over the new T1.2 framing timber surface treatment were first raised with the Department of Building & Housing only last Friday is quite simply not true.

"They knew about it alright. They had a warning before the treatment was approved, and they ignored it, and they had warnings shortly after.

"In October 2003 - six months before the treatment was accredited - Dr Robin Wakeling, a world-renowned wood preservation scientist, wrote to the Building Industry Authority expressing serious concern about the treatment. They did not bother to acknowledge his letter.

"In May last year - one month after the treatment was accredited - valuation and building quantity surveyor company Prendos wrote to the BIA saying he believed the treatment was 'going to lead to future disaster'. A month later, the NZ Institute of Building Surveyors wrote saying it was 'nonsense' that the treatment had been given the same status of core-penetrated timber.

"The BIA noted the Prendos and NZIBS concerns and even defended the product.

"So they knew about it. Mr Carter and his department are running for cover over this, and he must take full responsibility for putting the biggest asset of about 10,000 homeowners at risk.

"Mr Carter must come clean, and homeowners and builders must be assured that things will be put right.

"I am very angry that after all the anguish that thousands of people have gone through and are still going through over leaky homes, and after all the words from this Minister and this Labour Government, that no lessons seem to have been learnt," Dr Smith says.


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