Councils are angry at being hit for the full cost of the leaky building crisis, saying they should be taking only a small portion of the blame.
And they are warning of big rate hikes to cover the bill, particularly following a $250,900 High Court ruling against the Waitakere City Council.
What do you think?
Send us your views
Here is the latest selection of your views:
I work in the building industry, and am very familiar with the leaky building problems. In the 1990 I advised people, ad nauseum" to use good quality exterior claddings. In the majority of instances, the clients still went for the very cheapest options, as they were not planning to live in those homes, but to hock them off to the highest bidder, in order to make the most profit. When people are purchasing a new home, they owe it to themselves to use a reputably building consultant, who will very quickly pick up on any likely problems. But again, people go for the cheapest option, and they often opt for just a LIM report, which has nothing to do with the quality of the work. All the shoddy builders have just disappeared, but they have left a difficult legacy for the rest of the trade.It is now a nightmare to obtain a permit for the simplest of renovations, and the time and cost involved is quite ridiculous.
Therefore a lot of other people are suffering as a result of this. I think that the government needs to step into the breach, as it all started with their machinations in altereing the Building Code etc etc. Ratepayers should not need to bear the burden, they have not, in any way caused the problem.
Levy a 5-10% tax on all sales of houses to pay for the repairs. It will build up a fund and get the heat out of the housing market all in one hit.
Councils should pay what the Court decides. They have some sort of collective insurance, which ratepayers supposedly fund already. It is regretable that developers can put their company into liquidation to avoid responsibility and I think this needs addressing. I do not care for the way that Councils always assume that the ratepayer is able to pay. Councils must act more responsibly regarding their financial management and negotiate more rigorously with central Government about their respective roles in providing services to the community. Too much money is wasted by most councils.
So, councils are busy being angry at having to foot the cost of leaky buildings. If they had been prudent they would be covered by insurance which raises the question: how many of them have liability insurance, or more importantly, how many dont?
Being a ratepayer I am not at all happy with the whole situation - quite frankly heads at councils should roll! Ultimately the councils charge exorbitant consent fees - the Govt also gets its cut of GST from these fees - then inspectors dont even bother to do their jobs properly in monitoring/inspecting projects. Isnt that the whole purpose of the wretched expensive consent fees - to ensure jobs are carried out properly! It only goes to show there are way to many overheads of staff at councils and that jobs are not being done properly!
I have some sympathy for the local authorities. Contrary to the Heralds statement, very few of the responsible building companies have collapsed. They have been voluntarily liquidated by the builders, in some cases strings of them have been liquidated. The builders themselves are sitting pretty at their Coromandel baches enjoying their profits, while the councils are made to fess up with the damages. The answer to this is for the Leaky Homes Authority to be given special legal powers to sue the directors of these c