Largest leaky building case starts

by Sol Dolor14 Oct 2016
New Zealand’s largest and longest leaky building trial, with a claim of $40m, has be begun in Auckland.
Court documents show that the body corporate and 201 unit owners of the Victopia apartment block are suing several parties in the Auckland High Court, according to a report from the New Zealand Herald.
According to a Newshub report, repairs were initially pegged at $3m but have since ballooned to $40m.
In a separate report, the Herald said that the Gareth Lewis of the law firm Grimshaw & Co which is representing the body corporate has told the court that his client estimates the costs to be $42m. The figure has been reduced due to savings, he said.
The building on the corner of Nelson St and Victoria St opposite TVNZ is suffering weather-tightness defects, the lawyer said.
He particularly identified exterior cladding and balconies having defects, showing pictures to the court on Thursday of the exterior cladding of the building and sheets of materials having dislodgement, cracks and splits.
Furthermore, tiles of the balconies of the building also have defects, the lawyer is said to have argued.
He said that investigations point to the waterproof membrane deteriorating because of an incompatibility with the tile adhesive.
“The waterproof membrane has deteriorated and is either soft, mushy or tacky. It has not properly bonded and it had ceased to act as an effective waterproof membrane in that it would not repel water,” Lewis said, according to the Herald.
“It is common ground that this condition is not what it should be. It's not supposed to fall apart like this. As a result of the failure, balcony tiles became lose, lifted, there are cracks in numerous tiles, the grouting has become dislodged and moisture has become trapped,” the lawyer added.
The first defendant of the suit is KNZ International Co Ltd, formerly named Ganada Development Co Ltd and Dae Ju Developments Co Ltd. who is said to not be represented by legal counsel in the trial.
Construction business Brookfield Multiplex, Auckland Council and Bostik New Zealand are also named as defendants.
The trial, expected to last 10 weeks, comes after a crowdfunded litigation fund has been launched for victims of leaky building syndrome by the Homeowners and Buyers Association of New Zealand.