Supreme Court decision ends leaky-home bids

Thursday 28 June 2012

Auckland Council says a decision by the Supreme Court proves ratepayer-funded settlements in leaky home disputes will not be reduced by contributions from the Crown.

By Susan Edmunds

The former North Shore City Council has had its long-running bid for Government compensation for a group of leaky buildings denied by the Supreme Court.

The council’s attempt to win compensation for a 1999 project, The Grange, in Albany was struck out yesterday.

The development used monolithic cladding over untreated timber framing.

The Council, now part of Auckland Council, said it was given a false sense of security by the since-abolished Building Industry Authority, which reviewed its building inspection practices.

A Court of Appeal bid failed in 2010.

The Government and councils are each offering 25% of leaky home repair costs through a Financial Assistance Package established last year.

In return, the homeowner gives up the right to sue either party.

The Supreme Court said the Authority had no statutory "duty of care" to provide oversight of the council despite its regular reviews.

It essentially found the Council was responsible for its own neglicence in not implementing the building code to a high-enough standard.

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