Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Whatever Happened to 'Caveat Emptor'?

Press Release For Immediate Release 'Leaky Homes'

Whatever Happened to 'Caveat Emptor'?

"Owners of leaky homes identify responsibility for their predicament about as well as they identify houses to invest it," says Andrew Bates, a spokesman for the Libertarianz Party. "I have any amount of sympathy for people who have found themselves in an unfortunate situation in a leaky house," says Bates, "but taxpayers and ratepayers should not be forced to pay for the poor decisions of these buck-passers. If the contracts that home-owners negotiated with their builders did not contain clauses for repairs to be made good at the builders' expense then the home owners should pay for them, and probably out of the savings they made using such a contract."

Bates is aware of reports that in some cases builders have used "shell companies" to build the houses and collect "quick kill" profits and that these companies are nowhere to be found when their customers come calling to have their leaks fixed. "Situations like these merely serve to illustrate the importance of buying from a reputable builder. Such builders have a lot to lose if they do a shoddy job whereas cowboys, who can usually undercut them, lose nothing of value when they shut down their companies to avoid the costs of repairing ill-considered shortcuts."

He points out that regulations designed to protect small scale investors "merely lull them into a false sense of security, much the same as with protectionist securities law - as those who invested in Enron can tell you." He also suggests that "instead of blaming the alleged 'infectious greed' of builders and other developers, home-buyers should look to the words Alan Greenspan wrote in his article 'The Assault on Integrity' and see how they relate to the principle of caveat emptor."

In this August 1963 essay Greenspan points out that small companies must struggle for years to develop a reputation for quality products and good faith trading. Greenspan also notes that surveyors of quality standards employed by the government can be bought but those employed by free market quality standards testers have a financial incentive to maintain the integrity of their assessment.

With those words in mind Bates confirms his party's position: "Libertarianz maintain the job of government in this case is to uphold contracts that do exist, to investigate frauds that may exist, to provide inexpensive access to justice where it is needed - and in every other case to get the hell out of the way."


Andrew Bates LIBERTARIANZ SPOKESMAN (021) 346 478

www.libertarianz.org.nz www.libz.org

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them.

Finally, yesterday’s announcement by the Ardern government that a new state agency will be set up to assess and plan the manned re-entry to the mine (on a set timetable) goes a long way to meeting the families’ remaining request: that they be enabled, if at all possible, to bury their loved ones. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>


Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>





Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election