It's the dreaded day for a leaky home couple as George Griffith starts his hunger strike as they plead for assistance from the Manawatū District Council.
Lesley Thomas and Griffith bought a home half way up the Ruahine Ranges in the Pohangina Valley four and a half years ago which they say should have never received a Code Compliance Certificate.
This is backed up by Independent Building Inspector Jeff Twigge, from NZ House Survey who said Thomas and Griffith "have been screwed".
The hunger strike started on Monday, October 8 with Griffith weighed in at 80.2kg. He has vowed to consume only water to survive until there is a resolution to their leaky home.
His hunger strike plea is to the Manawatū District Council chief executive Richard Templer to find a solution to fix the house to meet the standard of the building code.
According to the couple, and other building industry professionals who have inspected the home, it failed to meet the building code in many areas including structural integrity, and parts of the build don't match the consented plans that was still given a Code Compliance Certificate.
Templer visited Thomas and Griffith last Friday and offered to pay for mediation to seek a way forward.
However, the couple want a settlement offer and felt the tone of the letter still represented the council was not at fault.
Yesterday, the couple accepted the offer from Templer and gave him their reply in person outside of the council, but felt it was too little too late.
"We accepted the meeting and we want to hear what they've got to say, but we just wanted to make sure that they are still aware that the hunger strike was going ahead because, as we stated in the letter, we need some kind of settlement offer and that has not come forward," Thomas said.
Griffiths said he felt it was time for the Manawatū District Council to do more than talk.
"Considering we've done four and a half years of this and we feel our lives have been held to ransom and we just want our lives back", Griffiths said.
Local Focus asked Templer whether the council was going to be accountable for issuing the Code Compliance Certificate on the property but he did not reply.
National Party MP Ian McKelvie has also visited the house and written letters to the minister, asking that something be done.
"It's very difficult for families or couples to take legal action," he said.
"Who's liability it is, I don't know, but certainty the builder or council or inspectors or whoever was part of that must have some culpability in this case
He noted Griffiths had said he was prepared to continue his hunger strike until the very end.
"It's a very sad case and i hope there is resolution for George before it goes too far," McKelvie said.
The couple have have set up a Facebook page for support 'Staving for Justice' https://www.facebook.com/Starving-For-Justice-246555326205696/
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