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Leaky home debacle spirals to over $1 billion

25 November 2005

Leaky home debacle spirals to over $1 billion

National Party Building spokesman Nick Smith says Labour is guilty of grossly understating the scale of the leaky homes crisis and responding quite inadequately to the plight of affected homeowners.

Just-released Cabinet papers indicate that 15,000 dwellings have fallen victim to leaky building syndrome and the repair bill will reach $1 billion.

"These papers are a brutal boomerang to Helen Clark's statement that the leaky homes issue was a 'beat-up' and that the media and Opposition was 'banging on about issues of no substance', says Dr Smith.

The 2002 Hunn Inquiry concluded the leaky homes fracas would cost between $120 million and $240 million. The Labour Government previously estimated that between 3,000 and 4,000 homes would be affected.

"The Government has repeatedly pooh-poohed people like myself and those in industry who have previously estimated this as a billion-dollar problem affecting 10,000 homes," says Dr Smith.

"The leaky homes crisis is spirally out of control, as evidenced by the 50% growth in claims this year, compared with last year, and that only 10% of the 3300 claims to date have been resolved.

"This report makes a sick joke of the Government's promise of the WHRS would be a quick and speedy solution to the leaky homes debacle.

"I hope this report results in a change in tact from a Government more interested in minimising this issue than helping desperate homeowners living in rotting, unhealthy homes," says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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