Ways of resolving New Zealand’s leaky homes problem will be canvassed in Auckland on 17 September.
“Leaky homes — Saving the Titanic?” is the theme of a conference organised by the Legal Research Foundation.
The conference will examine the past, present and future dimensions of the leaky homes catastrophe. This includes its impact on New Zealanders, how the legal system is coping with it, and whether, from economic and policy perspectives, the government’s financial package strikes the right balances.
Lawyers and a legal academic are speaking, along with representatives of the Home Owners and Buyers Association of New Zealand, the Department of Building and Housing, and Nera Economic Consulting.
As well as lawyers involved in weathertightness claims, mediators, adjudicators and judges, insurers and banks of potentially liable clients are invited.
The conference is also aimed at owners, builders and developers, engineers, architects, certifiers, building consultants, property managers, councils and others affected by leaky homes.
Serious financial and emotional strain
“This issue is placing serious financial and emotional strain on many New Zealand families,” Legal Research Foundation director and Bankside Chambers barrister Simon Mount says.
“It is also having a significant impact on architects, builders, other professionals and tradespeople, and councils who are caught up in claims.
“Many of these claims are extremely complex. Plaintiffs and defendants often complain that the process is too long, too expensive and too uncertain.
“There is a perceived need for a fairer solution to the leaky homes problem — this is the motivation for the recently announced government and local council financial assistance package for owners of leaky homes.”
The details of the package are expected to be confirmed in September, Mr Mount says. “This will make the conference especially topical.”
The Legal Research Foundation is an independent body associated with the University of Auckland Law School.