INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government ignoring current homeowners

Published: Thu 12 Dec 2002 07:45 PM
Government ignoring current homeowners
United Future MP Murray Smith says the Government is ignoring the position of homeowners who own properties built with untreated timber but have not yet discovered any evidence of leaks.
Yet, he says, it is clear that every house in New Zealand that has been built with untreated timber – and that means almost all house built since the Building Act came into force – is at risk.
“The Unitec survey published in December 2000 found that 50% of all houses built since 1990 allow moisture entry to one degree or another and, without drainage cavities or treated timber, such houses will all become rotten within a few years of construction.”
Yet, in the House today in response to a question from Mr Smith, the deputy Prime Minister, when asked what steps the Government was taking to advise such homeowners of the need to thoroughly check their homes for rot indicated that the Government was simply relying on the current media publicity to do that.
“That is simply not good enough, ” Mr Smith said. “Most homeowners need to know that the fact that there may not be obvious signs of leaks does not mean that there are no problems. Their home may already be turning to sawdust behind the walls and by the time they know about it, it will be too late to save themselves from tens of thousands of dollars of damage.
“All susceptible homeowners should be getting professional checks of their homes done to have a trained eye seek out potential water ingress points and test things like the moisture levels in the walls,” he said.

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