Who pays: Sheeting home liability for poor quality construction in New Zealand
Authors: Murphy, Chris
The financial damage from poor performing cladding systems in New Zealand has
been estimated in the billions of dollars. Any homeowner inheriting or owning a building
systemically leaking has liabilities often in the region of several hundred thousand dollars.
Redress through the courts or through the Weathertight Tribunal Service is frustratingly slow and
often extremely expensive. Now the NZ government has instigated a compensation package to
aid homeowners in repairing their leaking homes, but only if they agree not to pursue redress
from the local government agencies overseeing the building consent and construction process
that contributed to these deficiencies in the first place.
The Proposed Weathertight Homes Resolution Service (Financial Assistance Package)
Amendment Bill received its 2nd reading in Parliament in May 2011. This paper will explore the
reasons leading up to its introduction, examine the thrust of the submissions made to the Local
Government and Environment Select committee, and explore the implications for the home
owner and building construction quality here in New Zealand.