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


Joint and several liability changes could go further

For immediate release

Joint and several liability changes could go further

Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) is pleased to see the suggested changes to joint and several liability regime announced by the Law Commission today, but the changes do not go far enough.

While it is good to see improvements to the current regime, LGNZ is disappointed that its preferred option of proportionate liability was not recommended by the Commission. Under a proportionate liability model, liability is limited to the extent of a person’s contribution to the fault at issue.

The proposed continuation of the joint and several liability rule, should the Government agree, would mean that councils and their ratepayers will continue to be the ‘last man standing’ in disputes where there are multiple parties and where the real nub of the fault lies with other parties.

LGNZ President Lawrence Yule says LGNZ sees the opportunity for putting into place better incentives around consenting and risk sharing.

“If speedier decisions on building consents are desired by Government, then the chilling effects on the speed of processing arising from a joint and several liability regime - even with the additions suggested by the Law Commission - will need to be addressed,” Mr Yule says.

“That said, we welcome the Commission’s recommendation that councils as building consent authorities, should have their future liabilities capped so that ratepayers aren’t seen as ‘deep pockets’ by claimants. We also welcome the suggestion that the Courts should be given the discretion to grant relief to a truly ‘minor defendant’ where that party has a very low share of responsibility for the relevant harm done. “

The Law Commission’s report urges the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to continue to work on proposals for a comprehensive residential building guarantee scheme. LGNZ agrees with this call.

We need to put a stop to the system whereby poor performance by some members of the building industry is essentially underwritten by local ratepayers.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news