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NZ lawyers plan class action over shoddy buildings

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New Zealand councils that have approved or inspected leaky and failed buildings in the past 10 years face a possible class action.

Adina Thorn Lawyers says costs will be met by a UK litigation funder, removing a financial barrier for people considering seeking legal redress.

“We have come across owners and body corporates with major problems,” the firm’s Principal Adina Thorn said. “Many have good claims – they just can’t afford to pursue them.”

Building surveyor John Dalton says there are common problems with required standards not being met, either due to poor workmanship or non-compliant materials.

“Many owners are reluctant to get involved because they see the value of their property being discounted, but the reality is these problems won’t fix themselves and will generally get worse over time,” Mr Dalton said.

“Clearly, the scale of the problem runs to hundreds of millions, if not billions of dollars, with many property owners naturally asking what value really attaches to a council consent, which is something that takes good money and often considerable effort to secure.”

Adina Thorn Lawyers is calling for interested parties, including individuals, body corporates and commercial owners, to register for the class action.