23.07.2018

Leaking Buildings: A Council Class Action In The Making?

We are now on what may be called the “third wave leaky buildings”.

The first wave was the 1990s tide of leaking residential buildings, typically due to monolithic cladding installed without a cavity. In the 2000s came the second wave of leaking high rise residential and commercial buildings, particularly once the Supreme Court in Spencer on Byron concluded that the policies behind the Building Act 1991 did not justify distinguishing between duties of care owed by councils to owners of commercial versus residential property. Now we are well into the third wave, when repairs undertaken on defective buildings themselves fail and the buildings continue to leak or have other problems despite supposed compliance with the Building Act 2004 and the building code.

One response has been to recognise that it is not just faulty construction methodology that results in leaky buildings but potentially also the use of defective cladding products. Much attention has been paid to the fact that New Zealand imports a lot of the products that are used on buildings, including cladding components. The last 5 years have seen the beginning of actions (including class actions) against manufacturers and suppliers of cladding products.

This paper addresses, first, the potential liabilities of owners of buildings and others faced with a defective repair and includes discussion of some of the recent cases regarding allegedly substandard materials. We conclude by suggesting some practical ways to assist in ensuring (or at least raising the likelihood) that materials used in your construction (or remediation) project comply with the building code.

Do you need expert legal advice?
Contact the expert team at Hesketh Henry.
Kerry_100x100 1
Media contact - Kerry Browne
Please contact Kerry with any media enquiries and with any questions related to marketing or sponsorships on +64 9 375 8747 or via email.

Related Articles / Insights & Opinion

Getting the Deal Through: Construction 2019
Partners Nick Gillies, Helen Macfarlane and Christina Bryant are the contributing authors of the New Zealand Chapter of the 2019 edition of “Getting the Deal Through Construction”. Getting...
19.09.2018 Posted in Construction Law
UAE COMPANIES LAW UPDATE
New Zealand businesses looking to establish a foothold in the UAE have many options
10.09.2018 Posted in Trade and Commodities
When You Can’t Have it Your Way
Antares Restaurant Group Limited (which owns and operates Burger King in New Zealand) has received a whopper of a sanction – a ban on the company supporting visa applications until July next year.
4.09.2018 Posted in Employment Law
Getting the Deal Through: Shipping 2019
The Marine team at Hesketh Henry have again contributed to Getting the Deal Through: Shipping 2019.
30.08.2018 Posted in Maritime Law
A Guide to Concurrent Delay
Hesketh Henry was pleased to host the New Zealand Institute of Quantity Surveyors on 14 August 2018, where one of our construction partners, Nick Gillies, presented on concurrent delay.  The same pre...
22.08.2018 Posted in Construction Law
Update – New Zealand’s New Biofouling Standards
New Zealand has introduced a new standard requiring all vessels to have a “clean hull” on arrival in the country after 15  May 2018.[1]  The objective is to minimise the introduction of ...
21.08.2018 Posted in Maritime Law
No Longer Stumped: The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 Sentencing Guidelines
The High Court at Auckland has released its first and much-awaited decision under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA).
21.08.2018 Posted in Health & Safety Law
Send us an enquiry
For expert legal advice, please complete the form below or call us on (09) 375 8700.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.