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Latest law change won't fix leaky homes

Hon Dr Nick Smith MP
National Party Building & Construction Spokesman

13 December 2006

Latest law change won't fix leaky homes

Leaky home owners have once again been let down by Labour, with only minor changes made to the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service, says National Building spokesman Nick Smith.

"The WHRS has been a total failure with only 7% of claims resolved after four years, and more money being spent on bureaucracy than on fixing the thousands of affected homes.

"The problem with today's law changes is that it doesn't put the emphasis on where it is most needed - getting the houses fixed.

"It is just window dressing to change the name from the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service to the Weathertight Homes Tribunal.

"This problem is being passed around the Cabinet table like a hot potato, with Mr Cosgrove the seventh Minister in just four years.

"The WHRS started in the Department of Internal Affairs, then went to the Department of Building and Housing, and in May the responsibility will switch to the Ministry of Justice with yet another Minister in charge.

"Shifting the leaky homes problem between departments and Ministers is helping no one.

"The Government has learnt nothing from its first attempt at fixing this problem.

"They rammed legislation through Parliament in November 2002, setting up the WHRS and saying it would solve the problem in two years. But four years later, only 7% of claims are resolved.

"They have repeated the error today by ramming through changes under urgency, including 10 pages of amendments only tabled in the House this morning."


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