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Lifeline thrown to leaky homes victims

7 December 2009

Lifeline thrown to leaky homes victims

News that the government has backed away from its ‘take it or leave it’ rescue package offer to leaky homes victims was welcomed today by North Shore Mayor Andrew Williams.

“North Shore leaky homes victims learned via the news media over the weekend that the government has dropped it’s ‘take it or leave it’ 10 percent offer toward a rescue package, signalling a breakthrough in the government’s attitude, and opening the door to a much better deal for the North Shore’s 443 leaky homes claimants, and for affected home owners throughout the country, ” Mayor Williams said.

“This breakthrough is great news for leaky homes victims and vindicates the forthright stand taken by North Shore City toward securing a robust and meaningful rescue package. The government told mayors in no uncertain terms, last month on a teleconference call, that its 10 percent offer was final, and that the cupboard was bare. Now, it appears the government has had a change of heart,” Mayor Williams said.

Mayor Williams said that North Shore City Council in recent weeks had unanimously resolved to reiterate its position that central government needs to make a significant financial contribution to the rescue package, at least equal to local government, and that it is pleasing that our independent advocacy on the leaky homes issue has helped convince the government to start talking again.

“On Friday I had the opportunity to have a ‘pull aside’ here on the Shore with Prime Minister John Key over this issue, and urged him to ‘properly crunch the numbers’ on the government’s deal. I told the PM that they need to fully cost the various GST and income tax revenues from this major rebuilding exercise, and these need to be put on the table upfront, with any central government rescue package being on top of that. Key said he would take it up with his Finance Minister over the weekend and I am expecting a response to these suggestions.” said Mayor Williams.

We wish to have constructive two way dialogue with the government, and will continue our efforts to bring to a close this long and sorry nightmare for thousands of hard working families,” Mayor Williams said.

“If our own North Shore efforts, coupled with initiatives by others such as the Mayors of Auckland and Wellington, can get the government to the point where they will match the local councils’ contribution dollar for dollar, then we will have an offer worth taking back to leaky homes victims for their consideration that shows them some degree of respect, and recognition of the size of this national disaster.” Mayor Williams said.

“It will not be up to the standard of the proposal put to both the Labour government and National opposition not long before the last general election by Auckland and Wellington mayors John Banks and Kerry Prendergast for leaky homes owners and councils to each pay 25 percent of costs and the government the other half, but it will be worthy of consideration,” Mayor Williams said.

Mayor Williams said that reported figures from the Department of Building and Housing show that as at 30 November 2009, Auckland city has 2002 leaky homes claims lodged with the Weather-tight Homes Resolution Service, North Shore has 443, Wellington has 357 and Christchurch has 231.


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