other resources

Free and independent advice.

Consumerbuild website. ConsumerBuild help with building, renovating and maintaining your home.

EECA Energywise website.Energywise: for practical advice on how you can save energy and money.

For more information and advice on weathertight issues, please contact.

contact us for

Weathertight Services »

Weathertight e-news

Issue 7 – July 2010

In this issue we cover:

Work underway on leaky homes package design

The Government is working closely with local authorities to develop the detailed design of a financial assistance package to help homeowners get their leaky homes repaired faster.

The first in a series of meetings took place last month. Representatives of the Government, Local Government New Zealand and key affected local authorities reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the financial assistance package is in place by early 2011.

The representatives aim to reach agreement on the detailed design of the package in August, followed by formal confirmation in September. The Government intends to consult with key sector interest groups as the detailed design takes shape.

Discussions are also underway between the Government and banks about the details of the scheme.

Back to Top

Councils come on board

On 1 June a milestone in the development of the scheme was achieved with support by the eight councils in communities most directly affected by leaky homes.

The eight councils - Auckland, Christchurch, Manukau, Waitakere, North Shore, Tauranga, Wellington and Rodney District – collectively represent around 90 per cent of current leaky home claims. Local Government New Zealand described this as “resounding endorsement” for the scheme by those councils.

The support means the package is now workable. Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said: "The Government's leaky homes package has now received the critical mass of council support needed for it to go ahead."

The door remains open for other councils to agree to support the package at a later stage, depending on their local situation and need.

Back to Top

Financial assistance package – a reminder

The package centres on the Government and local authorities each contributing 25 per cent of agreed repair costs and homeowners funding the remaining 50 per cent, backed by a government loan guarantee.

Homeowners will need to be eligible to make a claim under the Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act to access the financial assistance package once it is launched.

The proposed package will be voluntary and in addition to the current disputes and litigation process for owners of leaky homes. It is also conditional on homeowners foregoing the right to sue local authorities or the Crown in relation to the claim.

Under the proposal, homeowners would still have the option to pursue other liable parties such as builders, developers and manufacturers of defective building products.

The financial assistance package is about spreading the costs of the leaky homes problem as evenly and fairly as possible to help affected homeowners to move on with their lives.

Although the package won’t be suitable for everyone, it represents another option for homeowners and is a fair solution for all New Zealanders.

Back to Top

What the package means for existing and potential claimants

The intention is that homeowners who currently have claims in the system that are yet to be resolved will be able to apply for the financial assistance package. This detail will be developed in the coming months.

In the meantime, homeowners who are close to the 10-year build limit can make an application to the Department of Building and Housing to start the claim process.

The Weathertight Homes Resolution Services Act 2006 set a 10 year limit for bringing a claim.

A house has to have been built or altered (if the alterations leak) within 10 years of the date of lodging a claim.

If the claim is eligible and is accepted, this will “stop the clock” and, most importantly, ensure it meets the 10 year limit requirement.

Back to Top

Increase in new claims

Since the announcement of the proposed financial assistance package, 187 homeowners (with 84 claims) have 'stopped the clock' by applying for an assessment (at 30 June). Most of the claims are for stand-alone houses with six of the claims relating to apartment or townhouse complexes of two or more homes (109 homes).

The majority of the new claims are for homes in Auckland (121 homes) with North Shore (25 homes), Christchurch (six homes), Wellington (five homes) and Rodney (five homes) also having significant number of claims. Other local authority areas have received fewer than five claims each. More information on the total number of claims and their location is available online.

Back to Top

Further information

For more information go to www.dbh.govt.nz or phone 0800 116 926.

If you have already made a claim, think you might want to, or wish to keep up-to-date with progress, sign up for the Department of Building and Housing’s e-newsletter.

It will deliver the latest information to your email inbox as well as advise of any further developments.

Back to Top