A man forced to go on a hunger strike until he reached a resolution over issues with his leaky home will \be able to eat again.

After four-and-a-half-years of fighting with Manawatū District Council over their leaky home, Lesley Thomas and George Griffiths finally now have something to smile about.

After a mediation meeting with the council on Thursday they have a solution to move forward.

Read more: Local Focus: Hunger strike underway over leaky and defective Manawatū house
Local Focus: Despairing Manawatū man threatens hunger strike over leaky home


Griffiths begun a hunger strike on Monday to protest the council's lack of action and by Thursday he had already lost 3kg.

That strike has now been called off and after the successful mediation, the couple headed off for a celebratory feed of fish and chips.

Neither the couple or the Manawatū District Council would reveal any details of the mediation or the resolution agreed on, but both parties released a short, identical statement.

Paul Stein of Manawatū District Council said they met on a confidential basis and "talked about issues in a constructive way".

"We have identified a sensible way forward and we want to do all we can to make sure that process works through well. With that in mind, we don't want to say anything further."

Griffiths began his hunger strike as a plea to Manawatū District Council chief executive Richard Templer to find a solution to fix the house to meet the standard of the building code.

Just over four years ago, the pair bought their home half way up the Ruahine Ranges in Pohangina Valley, hoping to create a peaceful haven for people suffering from depression, and their families.

After moving in, they discovered significant shortcomings in the way the home was built. Experts say the house should never have receive a Code Compliance Certificate from the Manawatū District Council.


Problem after problem was uncovered, including water tightness, plumbing, retaining walls and even structural integrity.

Since going public a year ago, Thomas and Griffiths have had multiple meetings with the council, but had been told the only solution was to take the council to court - an action the couple said they cannot afford to do.

Once Griffiths announced his hunger strike that Templer visited and offered to pay for mediation.

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