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
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

The Impact of Unclear Communication
The recent decision of the New South Wales Court of Appeal in Valmont Interiors Pty Ltd v Giorgio Armani Australia Pty Ltd (No. 2) [2021] NSWCA 9 is an example of an unclear direction resulting in a principal being unable to rely on a notification time bar in a construction contract.
11.10.2021 Posted in Construction
Penalties imposed for a single phone call attempting to enter a price-fixing agreement
The High Court in Commerce Commission v Specialised Container Services (Christchurch) Ltd recently imposed pecuniary penalties under the Commerce Act 1986 (the Act) for an attempt to enter into a pric...
07.10.2021 Posted in Business Advice & Regulatory
Update – August/September 2021 Lockdown – what financial support is available?
The Government is offering various support schemes to help employees and businesses cope with the 2021 COVID-19 Lockdown.  Given the differing eligibility requirements it is easy to become overwhelmed.
07.10.2021 Posted in Business Advice & COVID-19 & Employment
Exclusion of liability for deliberate breaches of contract 
In Mott Macdonald Ltd v Trant Engineering Ltd [2021] EWHC 754 (TCC) the English High Court considered a summary judgment application on the applicability of a limitation of liability clause to an alle...
How low can you go?  Commerce Commission’s prosecution against Bunnings dismissed
The District Court recently dismissed the Commerce Commission’s case against Bunnings for alleged misleading and deceptive representations under the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA). In dismissing the Co...
Civil Aviation Bill introduced to Parliament
After five years of preparation, the Civil Aviation Bill has been introduced to Parliament.  The aviation industry has seen dramatic change in the three decades since the current Civil Aviation Act w...
30.09.2021 Posted in Aviation
Regulators do not “bend” on AML/CFT compliance: Financial Markets Authority v CLSA Premium Limited
Earlier this month, the High Court released its decision in Financial Markets Authority v CLSA Premium New Zealand Limited.
23.09.2021 Posted in AML/CFT & Business Advice & Regulatory
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.
-->