So: the government has upped its derisory previous 10% offer, to 25%. This is much the same as what one of one avid readers, m-d, was saying some time ago, when we last blogged on the subject. Its good to see that the Fish is so influential as to be having an effect on Government policy. ;-) Sadly of course, they missed out the best bit from m-d:

“My solution, seeing as you all asked, is for the govt to set up a building team specifically for repairing the homes. The teams make no money beyond covering administration, labour, and material costs – thereby removing some of the profiteering from the situation, and significantly reducing the cost of the work. The much lower cost of the work is shouldered by a split between the govt, designers (insurance), and the homeowners… If private businesses could tender lower than the govt teams, then all the better, but I suggest that they would need some incentive such as this to lower their prices (if they could)…

The teams are quickly disbanded after the problem is resolved. (as a bonus, it would appear that the govt was creating jobs in a time of need also – although this would be a mischevious interpretation).

Addresses designer responsibility, government responsibility, and caveat emptor… beautiful… what’s not to like?”

Bernard Hickey comments about the leaky home deal here.
Is it a good deal? Probably not.
Is it the best deal that Leaky home owners are likely to get? Probably yes.
Do the Councils support it? It appears so.
Are the lawyers happy? Amusingly, of course not. They won’t get a cut of anything if people accept this deal and stop trying to sue councils etc.

“I’m not going to be telling the clients that they should effectively take only 25 percent from the council when if they go through the courts they can get 100 percent from the council.”

Is the whole thing a media beat up? (as per H Clark comments circa 2004?) No, but to some extent, yes. Look: there’s a massive problem here, accepted. Is it getting any better at all with the involvement of lawyers? Well, check out this particular report, which notes:

“There are between 22,000 and 89,000 homes around New Zealand that are leaky. A report prepared for the Government last year said repair bills were typically around $110,000 in each case, including $75,000 for legal bills, $15,000 on design and $10,000 each on experts and consequential costs.”

That’s shocking ! If those figures are anywhere near being correct (and I have no idea if they are), then a little bit of maths reveals that the actual repair costs are, umm, 75 plus 15 plus 10 times 2 = umm, carry the 1 and = ooh, look, it’s free! That should keep some people happy!
Sadly, I think we can dismiss those figures as completely wrong or mis-quoted, and totally missing the actual amount of work required to rebuild the home. However, it is still indicative of the amount that the lawyers get. What a pointless exercise to go through. Cut the lawyers out and get on with the job.

Tagged in: