Policy Parrot says:
Finally the wheels start trundling around in the lead up to proceedings against the big cladding manufacturers.
This case is a test case and will utterly redefine the leaking building saga. Until now it has been a case of slippery avoidance by product manufacturers who have fingered all in sundry for applying the materials incorrectly or inspecting shoddy work.
This Parrot however has always thought it odd that products appeared to be dodging the bullet. Surely if universally houses and buildings that leaked were clad in similar products – and in a large portion the same products – an issue exists with the cladding systems.
Surely not every single builder, developer and Council can have shortcut procurement methodology, conducted inappropriate inspections and or cocked it up?
It’s simply too fanciful to have everyone – the good and bad – at fault. Particularly when using the same product.
Because the common denominator is actually the product.
When the ministry announced it was about to crack Hardies and others for systemic failure of their products this Parrot was gleefully excited.
This Parrot never much liked the shitty stucco houses and developments in any case. They looked cheap and nasty and we know they were.
Most of those proprietary sheet materials are a blight on our built form and quite frankly the sooner we get rid of them the sooner the quality of our housing stock will improve.
This case has a long way to go yet. Much of this year will be about defining what must be the test to be had in Court proceedings – the questions that must be answered and why.
It’s long overdue. But it’s also at high risk of not happening. If it appears to Counsel for the plaintiffs that try will lose to can sure as hell bet an out of Court settlement will take place. No company selling materials in NZ will want case law to say they and their materials are implicit and at fault.
This Parrot hopes for a savaging of the manufacturers but mostly because this Parrot wants to see their materials pulled from the market due to bad taste. There is no accounting for the cringe factor of cheap imitation stucco houses and bland commercial buildings using express joints as ‘architectural’ features and a coat of paint. Cheap is just cheap and it looks it.
Sure not everyone can afford more sexy claddings but there is brick and it does work well and it at least looks better than the blight that is monolithic proprietary sheet cladding systems.
What we need is to rely on cladding systems that work. And if that means chucking out systems that are a bag of oozing puss then we should do so.
Besides is cost everyone so far except the manufacturers of products who – despite supplying the materials and systems – have to do date got off Scott free.
Big ups to the Ministry for trying and may the force be with you.