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Case to answer in relation to leaky school buildings

Hon Nikki Kaye
Associate Minister
of Education

9 April 2014 Media Statement
High Court says there is a case to answer in relation to leaky school building allegations
Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye said today that legal action will continue in relation to the supply of allegedly defective wall cladding materials by Carter Holt Harvey (CHH).

This follows CHH failing to have the Ministry of Education’s product liability claim struck out in the High Court last week.

“I am pleased with the recent judgment and support the Ministry continuing to pursue all avenues that support delivery of the best possible learning environments for our students and teachers,” Ms Kaye says.

At the start of this year the Ministry had successfully settled more than 40 claims relating to leaky buildings and is the first Government agency to lodge a major product liability claim. The Ministry previously reached successful out of court agreements with major manufacturer James Hardie, and CSR Building Products Ltd.

Ms Kaye says that the Ministry remains open to settlement discussions with any party engaged in legal action but will continue to pursue these matters vigorously.

“The Ministry has been at the forefront of the leaky building issue on behalf of New Zealand schools and takes action as needed to protect the Crown’s significant investment in education infrastructure and promote better building practices in the future,” Ms Kaye says.

Successful legal action complements a wide range of other Ministry activities designed to ensure the leaky building issue does not affect New Zealand schools in the future.

The Ministry has been influential in lifting quality standards for all school property projects, including the introduction of mandatory Weather-Tightness Requirements that work in conjunction with the New Zealand Building Code and include a peer review of all school designs.

Specific details of settlements and on-going legal action remain confidential.

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