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‘Leaky Building Package’ Proposed

‘Leaky Building Package’ Proposed

Local Government New Zealand’s summit on leaky buildings today proposed that a ‘leaky building package’ be established to assist owners of “leaky buildings” to find solutions to their problems.

President Basil Morrison said this package would provide a way forward through the minefield of conflicting responsibilities and potential litigation. The proposed package would not replace the need for longer term solutions to the systemic failure identified in the Hunn report.

Delegates at the summit urged Local Government New Zealand to initiate negotiations with Central Government, the Building Industry Authority, the Master Builders Association, architects, engineers, insurers, product manufacturers and others to advance this solution for affected communities.

The proposed package has four parts: an expert group of building inspectors to provide comprehensive inspections of all leaky buildings and to provide an national estimate for the cost of remedy a mediation service to assist with the determination of who should carry the responsibility for reinstatement on affected properties a special bench of the District Court made up of judges with expertise in ‘leaky buildings’ and the Building Act, assisted by an expert group of neutral lawyers, who can provide legal advice to affected building owners a community fund established by Government, local authorities, builders, engineers, insurers, product manufacturers and others to provide compensation for home owners who are unable to secure remedies through the mediation process.

The Minister of Internal Affairs the Hon George Hawkins addressed the Summit attendees and noted the willingness and speed with which local government has acted to find a way through the issue. ‘Local government is of course only one player in this but as the representatives of community interests you have acted speedily and with goodwill’.

The Summit was called together last Wednesday after the ‘leaky building’ report findings were announced. On release of the report Local Government New Zealand noted its disappointment that no recommendations for an immediate solution were identified. The Summit was called together to enable the local government sector to identify a way forward.

Over 100 delegates attended the Summit representing over two-thirds of all New Zealand councils.

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