Well, I don’t happen to take much legal advice from lawyers.
Regarding leaky homes, a problem caused by deregulation under the government of which John Banks was a part. Listen to the whole interview with a somewhat exasperated Sean Plunket. It’s worth it to hear Banksie argue that:
- That we need to “get money into the hands of Bob the Builder” rather than giving it to the lawyers
- … even though “of course” (he says) it’s Bob the Builder who caused the problem … and people can still sue Bob the Builder “if they can find these people and get hold of them legally”
- … while admitting that there’s no real prospect of that since those responsible mostly have “walked away from their responsibilities”
- … and conceding that the amount spent on laywers so far would cover only a tiny proportion of the total cost of leaky homes in any case.
- That he “doesn’t think there’s any right and wrong” in the arguments around leaky homes;
- That some people have been held to account, but he can’t name them;
- That the magnanimous “John Key government” has said it is “morally responsible” while not being actually responsible;
- and that he (personally) is taking responsibility, but that he has no recollection of precisely why the regulations were passed (by his government).
Enough to make your head spin.
We collectively elected the clueless bastards who changed away from the original Building Standards so it is only right that we through the government pay 100% of the repair costs, not chiseling out with just 25% from tax and 25% from rates. The Canadian’s got it right .. New Zealanders stuffed up pandering to the building industry.
I thought plunkett slamdunked banks when bob the builder came up – “But aren’t they the ones that caused the problem?”
Banks is a good example of the adage – “it’s not what you say it’s how you say it.” He says a lot, with conviction, but it’s a lot of what?
You are right that a large proportion of the problem goes back to central governments of the late 1980s and 1990s. As well as changing building standards, they destroyed the apprenticeship system and broke up of the Ministry of Works, which served as a best-practice (i.e. over-specify and over-construct) training ground for a range of construction-sector vocations. In general, efficiency (quick and cheap) became the philosophy of the day, displacing the previous low-risk approach to building.
Not all of the problem was caused by government, but government failed to regulate to stop the problems.
But say you make central government pick up the tab. Who pays? Taxpayers. Ordinary people who have not profited from this debacle, including people who can’t afford to buy a house and people who live in parts of the country where there isn’t a leaky homes problem.
Meanwhile, builders, architects, developers private sector compliance officers, timber supply companies – all made huge profits out of this…. Itâ€™s not an easy problem to solve.
Excellent point Molly.
(My comment about it not being an easy problem to solve doesn’t, of course, excuse John Banks’ inability to sustain a logical argument on this point)
Molly, heh. Banksie is perfectly capable of sustaining a logical argument on the point — it’s just that the logical argument on this point leads to him and to the government in which he was a senior minister, so he chooses not to.
(Although the problem started under the 4th Labour govt, and was not helped at all by the last govt, so neither main party is exempt from responsibility. Watch them all hope that the damn thing will just go away! Which is what this govt is hoping – in vain – for.)
He wasn’t really a senior Minister. He was pretty close to the bottom of the Cabinet ranking, actually. But, collective responsibility.