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Review of joint and several liability

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction
10 October 2011

Review of joint and several liability

The Government has asked the Law Commission to review how joint and several liability for defective building work is currently managed, Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

‘Joint and several’ means that liability is jointly shared between multiple parties, and the payment of damages must be shared by the parties.

Mr Williamson said the Building Act Review includes a review of how liability for defective building work is currently managed, and the Government has now asked the Law Commission to consider this in a wider context.

“The Building Act Review had identified some issues with the way joint and several liability works in practice in the building sector in New Zealand, and also considered other possible options, such as proportionate liability,” Mr Williamson said.

“The Law Commission will provide a broader review of the issue which will inform any future decisions."

A Cabinet paper and a report on the review of joint and several liability have been published on the Department of Building and Housing website at


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