Parliament

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

 

Government announces leaky homes package

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction


17 May 2010

Embargoed until 4pm Media Statement

Government announces leaky homes package

The Government has today announced its financial assistance package to help people get their leaky homes fixed faster.

The package centres on the Government and local authorities each contributing 25 per cent of agreed repair costs and affected homeowners funding the remaining 50 per cent backed by a government loan guarantee.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says this is about the Government stepping up and tackling a significant issue.

"The Government wants to ensure we get a fair solution that will assist affected homeowners to move on with their lives," he says.

Mr Williamson says the scale of the leaky homes issue is equivalent to a natural disaster of huge proportions and it is having a considerable impact on the wealth and health of many thousands of New Zealanders and their families.

"Affected homeowners have been stuck in a complex and costly disputes process for too long with little prospect of being able to fix their leaky home," Mr Williamson says.

“Even though the Government has no legal liability, the magnitude of the issue means central government involvement is essential if we are going to find a way forward," he says.

"This package will assist affected homeowners to get access to money so they can get their homes fixed and move on with their lives,” Mr Williamson says.

There are a large number of homes in New Zealand that are leaking, damp and mouldy, and are rotting over time.


In July 2009, a PricewaterhouseCoopers report estimated that between 22,000 and 89,000 homes were affected with a consensus forecast of 42,000 dwellings that were likely to be leaky homes. Only a minority – around 3,500 – have been repaired to date.

"There could be more than 80,000 people living in leaky homes, many of whom can't afford to sell or access money to get them fixed," Mr Williamson says.

The financial assistance package will see the Government meet 25 per cent of homeowners' agreed repair costs, local authorities contributing 25 per cent and homeowners funding the remaining 50 per cent, with a loan guarantee underwritten by the Government, provided applicants can meet bank lending criteria.

"The Government will also cover the administration cost of the new package. This means the Government's actual contribution is around 29 per cent of the total cost of the package," he says.

Mr Williamson says the package was today presented to Auckland Transition Agency Executive Chairman Mark Ford and Mayors Kerry Prendergast and John Banks as the key representatives of those local authorities most affected by the leaky homes issue.

“Local authorities have been invited to participate and asked to respond to the Government's offer by Monday 31 May 2010."

Mr Williamson says the eight major retail banks have been briefed about the financial assistance package and have indicated their willingness to work with the Government on the detail of the proposal.

"If, as officials forecast, 70 per cent of affected homeowners within the 10-year liability limit take up this package, the Government is anticipating its share will be around $1 billion over the next five years," Mr Williamson says.

"Once the local authorities have responded, the Government will begin working through the complex details of how it will work with the parties involved. We are aiming to have the new package up and running early next year," he says.

Affected homeowners will need to make a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act to access the financial assistance package once it is launched.

"In the meantime, homeowners can apply to the Department of Building and Housing to make a weathertight claim. If their claim is accepted, that ‘stops the clock’ on the 10-year limitation for claims."

Mr Williamson says the financial assistance package will be voluntary and in addition to the current disputes and litigation process.
"Those homeowners who participate in the package would forgo the right to sue local authorities or the Crown in exchange for a combined government and local authority direct payment of 50 per cent of agreed repair costs."

Homeowners will still have the option to pursue other liable parties such as builders, developers and manufacturers of defective products.

The intention is that homeowners who currently have claims in the weathertight system yet to be resolved will be able to apply for the financial assistance package.

Owners of leaky homes who would like more information should visit www.dbh.govt.nz or phone 0800 116 926.


ENDS


Leaky_homes_package_QsandAs.pdf

© 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


Reaction

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>>

ALSO:


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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

ALSO:

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>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election