Phil Goff to inherit largest leaky homes problem yet

When Phil Goff was a cabinet minister his government did stuff-all about leaky homes. I’ll bet a dollar to a knob of goat poo that Clark’s ministry just decided to kick the can down the road knowing they’d never be around to have to deal with it.

Now Phil Goff is likely to win the Auckland Mayoralty he has a landmine, set by his own troops, to step on.

The owners of an Auckland apartment complex have filed a $60 million leaky homes claim against the firms involved in its construction, and the Auckland Council, after serious building defects were discovered.

It is the largest leaky homes claim ever in New Zealand.

Construction on St Lukes Garden Apartments in Mount Albert began in 2003 and finished in 2011, with most owners seeing the modern apartment complex as a low-risk, stable investment.

However, many of the 279 units spread across eight buildings, show serious signs of building defects and damage, fire safety oversights and leaking external walls.

Home Owners and Buyers Association chief executive Roger Levie said the building’s shortcomings were many and varied.  

“There are structural issues, particularly in relation to the support of some of the buildings that have carparking underneath … that’s primarily of concern around an event such as an earthquake or similar.

“Of more concern and expense to repair is that it’s a concrete building, primarily built with prefabricated panels – and those panels are cracking and letting moisture through.

“That moisture is then sitting and causing problems and turning into mould,” he said.

A claim was filed about a year ago, but subsequent investigations have seen the cost of repairs balloon to $60m.

Mr Levie said the litigation was likely to be a long and arduous affair, which would place serious financial strain on some people.

And eventually the ratepayers.

Several different firms worked on the design and construction of the different blocks, and certification was issued by both Auckland Council and a private certifier.

Legal proceedings have been issued against seven separate defendants.

The Auckland Council acknowledged it was among the seven defendants, and said it was unable to comment while the matter was before the High Court.

Chances are, and this is what Phil Goff will be hoping, that the litigation will run for years and he will be long retired before a result is known. He will still have to find the budget for the legal costs though.


– Radio NZ

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.