Lawyers hammer Building Authority over leaky homes

Sunday 26 September 2004

The Building Industry Authority is under fire from a law firm representing hundreds of litigants across Auckland after the authority refused to take part in mediations with victims of the so-called leaky building saga.

By The Landlord

Paul Grimshaw, a partner at law firm Cairns Slane, which is representing 3000 owners in 30 to 40 multimillion-dollar leaky building claims, described the Building Industry Authority's decision to reject private mediation as "hypocritical in the extreme."

The refusal to mediate relates to proceedings filed in the High Court against the Building Industry Authority. Homeowners can also go through the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service, where mediation is an option. But in recent months the service has been under fire for being too slow and Grimshaw said he lacked confidence in the system.

"The Building Industry Authority is a Crown entity. The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service [which offers mediation] is set up through the Department of Internal Affairs. The government set up the mediation service but refuses to mediate. What sort of logic is that?"

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