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Historic Mistakes Repeated in Building Bill

Andrew Williams

New Zealand First MP

Building and Construction Spokesperson
1 March 2012
Historic Mistakes Repeated in Building Bill

The Building Amendment Bill is repeating the mistakes of the 1990’s by once again aiming to lower the building standards and deregulating areas of the building code, says NZ First Building and Construction spokesperson Andrew Williams.

“This Bill flies in the face of information before the Royal Commission of Inquiry in Christchurch showing there needs to be a higher level of building standards across the board, not a lowering and deregulation of standards.

“It is a ‘Back to the Future Bill’, going back to 1991 when the then Building and Housing Minister Hon. Maurice Williamson, (who 20 years later is again Building and Housing Minister) ripped the building code to pieces, allowing air-dried untreated timber to be used.

“The 1990’s National Government also allowed monolithic cladding from Australia to be applied here in New Zealand where we have totally different climate and soil conditions.

“This disastrous combination of untreated air-dried timber and monolithic unvented cladding, prone to cracking with movement of the houses, and a lowering of building standards created the huge leaky-house problem.

“Local authorities must provide the necessary safeguards to ensure re-established good building standards are maintained. This Bill means responsibility for what could be poorly constructed buildings will essentially fall on the builders themselves, who can up and leave at any time, and ultimately the innocent consumers.

“The National Government of the 1990’s created the $20 billion leaky homes, leaky schools, leaky hospitals, and leaky commercial buildings national disaster. We are repeating history with this Building Amendment Bill and setting New Zealand up once again for a costly mistake of epic proportions,” says Andrew Williams.


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