Media Release: Banks Welcomes Relief for Homeowners

Auckland Mayor John Banks has welcomed the announcement by the Prime Minister that the Government has agreed to a solution aimed at fixing the nation’s leaky home problem.

“This solution offers relief for the approximately 89,000 thousand distressed, depressed, financially stressed homeowners who have been affected by this problem that is of epidemic proportions.

“It is a great day for them and I hope this goes some way to easing their concerns.”

Mayor Banks joined Prime Minister John Key and Wellington’s Mayor Kerry Prendergast for the announcement in Parliament today.

“This is one of the biggest ever partnerships between central and local government but it has been needed to solve this enormous problem that potentially could cost $11.3 billion dollars.

The solution will see Government and Councils each pay 25% of the repair bill for a leaky home and the home owner 50%.

The Government has agreed to work with the banking sector in assisting with homeowner’s bill.

“I am thankful that John Key and his government have entered into negotiations with an open and willing mind. The last Government and previous Councils could not and would not deal with it. In particular, I acknowledge the tireless effort of Minister Williamson.

“This positive relationship has delivered a big win for home owners throughout the country and in particular Auckland, which has the biggest problem”

Mayor Banks has acknowledged the work of his colleague Mayor Kerry Prendergast for ‘her resolve and tireless commitment’. Both Mayors have acted as advocates for the local government sector in brokering this deal for the past 12 months.

“I made a promise in 2007 that I would work hard to get a better deal for ratepayers. It was looking like councils would be the ‘last man standing’ and forced to cough up for the majority of these huge bills. That would have been devastating and in the end financially prohibitive.”

Mayor Banks says he knows the stress that comes with owning a leaky home and he got a good indication of the problem while visiting communities across Auckland.

“I have met too many people living in leaky terraced homes and multiple units who are facing crippling bills to fix their units. You can only imagine how that feels hanging over you.”

Mayor Banks says he is happy the major investments being made by individual home owners can now go directly to ‘Bob the Builder’ and into fixing their homes instead of the pockets of lawyers.

ENDS

Media Contact: Scott Campbell 021 426 342