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Too little, too late for leaky homes

Hon Nick Smith
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

12 May 2006


Too little, too late for leaky homes

The Government’s tinkering with the Watertight Homes Resolution Service and its half-baked loan scheme will not give the assistance needed to fix the thousands of leaky homes, says National’s Building and Construction spokesman, Nick Smith.

He is commenting on today’s announcement by the Government of a ‘shake-up’of the WHRS.

“This package is underwhelming,” says Dr Smith.

“The minor changes to the WHRS will not address the huge backlog of claims and won’t come into effect for another year.

“Nor will they affect the millions of dollars that are being spent on disputes rather than fixing the homes.

“Even if the Building Issues Minister is successful in halving the average time it takes for leaky home claims, it will still take years for many homeowners to get justice.

“It is also extraordinary that the details and criteria of the Housing NZ loan scheme have not yet been worked out. It appears the Minister is so embarrassed at the leak of this initiative that announcement of the details is being deferred.

“A loan scheme involving only $7.1 million is a sick joke when the Government’s own estimate of the leaky homes problem involves 15,000 homes and $1 billion in repairs. This amount could be used in a single apartment complex and shows this Government is not serious about getting these homes fixed.

“This is the third attempt by Labour to address the leaky home debacle. Sadly, it will fail again. It is too little and too late,” says Dr Smith.

ENDS

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