Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

George Hawkins Speech to Building Industry Summit


George Hawkins Speech to Building Industry Summit


Speech to Building Industry Summit
Sheraton Hotel
Auckland
Friday 11 October 2002.


Good morning.


Thank you for the opportunity to speak to what I sincerely hope history will view as an important event in New Zealand's building industry.

Looking out from here, it looks like anyone who's anyone in the building sector is here, and that's heartening.

Heartening because there's no doubt that the construction industry is a major driver in New Zealand's economy.

Anyone who doubts that need only look to the Statistics New Zealand figures for the June 2002 quarter.

These put the value of residential building work put in place at over $1.1 billion for that quarter alone.

But I don't want to give the appearance that I'm happy that any of us should be needing to meet here today.

I am mindful that we're here to find ways to deal with problems outlined in the report from the Overview Group on the Weathertightness of Buildings.

In doing so, it's useful to outline two key themes that I want us all to take on board.

The first is that it is entirely reasonable for homeowners to expect their new houses will not rot.

We need to be cognizant of the issues facing homeowners whose houses are affected by rot and work with them to find solutions.

This remains a key theme - one of co-operation and joint action and I will discuss this further shortly.

The other theme is the opportunity to think carefully about the regulatory environment and what is appropriate for the future.

It's probably a good time therefore, to look back before we get onto that part of the equation.

It's now approximately a month since the Hunn Report landed on my desk.

Back on Tuesday 17th September, it amounted to a pretty damming indictment of systemic failure within the industry. In fact the words 'systemic failure' were prominent in the Report.

Despite the considerable media hype, it's as well to take a minute also to get some perspective on the situation so far.

Firstly, it has to be remembered we still have no idea how many houses are affected.

We don't know where these affected houses are located , nor to what extent.

What is certain, is that there are people affected, and in some cases very badly.

In one Wellington apartment block I saw, it was apparent every apartment had problems. The body corporate group told me they had collated 60 ring-binders of problems.

All of the homeowners, who range from elderly single people to solo parents with pre-schoolers, face the crisis on a daily basis. None is immune.

They would be among the worst affected group that I have seen, and they need a way forward.

The Hunn report details the problems of failure in all parts of the building industry that may have contributed to examples such as this.

It stops short of blaming any one person or group, instead it places the burden of eliminating the failures that result in the construction of leaky buildings on everyone's shoulders.

The Government has begun to play what part it can.

First up, we're making sure affected parties have a practical and inexpensive way of seeking solutions.

And secondly, we're looking ahead to what needs to be done to ensure that these problems do not continue.

In the days immediately following delivery of the Hunn report, the Government moved to set up a select committee to hear people's submissions.

The select committee process will both provide a forum for all parties to provide advice and provide information for government about the way forward.

To assist affected parties reach effective solutions, we are setting up an assessment and dispute resolution service. An expert advisory group will design and assist in the establishment of this service, and they are working on that right now...

Finding a way that consumers can get redress remains a key focus.

Our second focus is fixing this for the future.

The Government is working on various fronts to ensure we don't end up with another generation of homes with the same issues

We've called together this summit to give you an opportunity to be part of that solution.

A key place to start is the careful consideration of the findings of the Hunn Report in the context of the regulatory environment.

I am aware that many here will have participated in extensive consultations surrounding the Building Act review.

But I am also aware that the Building Act review does not deal specifically with this issue. Today would seem to be a good day to discuss this and seek solutions.

This includes considering some fundamental issues related to the performance-based code and the balance between prescription and flexibility which the industry has enjoyed over the past 10 years.

Ultimately, if the Government needs to change the regulatory environment, we will do so.

I'm pleased that already various groups have taken significant steps in response to the Hunn Report.

But while I commend these moves, I want every individual, group and organisation here today to be as ready to play its part.

I want everyone here to look at the Hunn Report and enact an action plan to correct the mistakes that have led to the construction of leaky buildings.

I want agreement in place to eliminate deficiencies and restore consumer confidence in homes built in this country.

If today's summit is not sufficient, it is my intention to meet again and find workable solutions.

I want to also state my expectation - on behalf of the government - that problems facing this industry get resolved.

I expect all industry leaders to endorse the reforms necessary to restore consumer confidence.
occur, and the role of the industry itself in bringing about reform.

Finally, it needs to be acknowledged we today have to address the hard asks.

But I believe we have the goodwill to do that.

This meeting is an opportunity to respond to the needs of consumers in a way and that will maintain confidence in New Zealand's building industry.

Thank you for showing your commitment by being here today.

Thank you.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Rapid Antigen Testing


National Party leader Christopher Luxon is being allowed to get away with murder. Luxon is not being challenged over his repeated assertions that the rest of the world has enjoyed ready access to rapid antigen tests (aka RATS) for a year, so why aren’t we? In fact, the reality across the Tasman for the past month has seen a colossal shambles unfold over (a) the availability and (b) the affordability of these tests. RATS have become a case of panic buying on steroids. Amid reports of price gouging, stock-piling, socially inequitable access and empty shelves...
More>>



 
 


The Treasury: Financial Statements Of The Government Of NZ For The 5 Months Ended 30 November 2021
Interim Financial Statements of the Government of New Zealand for the 5 months ended 30 November 2021... More>>

ALSO:


Government: Announces Three Phase Public Health Response To Omicron
The Government has announced a three phase Omicron plan that aims to slow down and limit the spread of an outbreak, Associate Minister of Health, Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Through the course of managing Omicron, we will be taking a phased approach. As case numbers grow both testing and isolation approaches will change in response... More>>


Save The Children: Thousands Join Call To Retain New Zealand’s Children’s Commissioner

More than 6000 Kiwis have joined Save the Children New Zealand’s call to retain the vital role of Children’s Commissioner, as the Government considers a new bill proposing major changes to the office, including the removal of a named Children’s Commissioner... More>>

Transparency International: New Zealand Retains Top Ranking In Annual Corruption Perceptions Index
New Zealand is once again ranked least corrupt in the world by Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. This year New Zealand’s score of 88 out of 100 is unchanged resulting in it being first equal with Denmark and Finland... More>>


TradeMe: Property Prices Increase By A Record 25% In One Year
In December, the national average asking price jumped by a quarter year on year, to reach a new high of $956,150, according to the latest Trade Me Property Price Index. Trade Me Property Sales Director Gavin Lloyd said last month’s national average asking price increase was the largest on record... More>>


Statistics: Departures Lift Border Crossing Numbers

The number of people crossing New Zealand’s border went up in November 2021, mostly due to an increase in departures, Stats NZ said today. There were 28,700 border crossings in November 2021, made up of 12,300 arrivals and 16,400 departures... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels