Leaky Building Class Action in NZ: Cladding or installation the problem?

A recent article is in on a proposed class action civil lawsuit against cladding manufacturers regarding leaky-building caught my attention so I investigated further. Lawyers are urging property owners to register on in order to put together a class action with a ’no win no pay’. I researched this further and discovered that it’s not actually the cladding that is the problem but the installation. Again, I raise the question that trades people need the proper training.

With the NZ Government dropping the apprentice training system for builders and trades meant that some builders were careless in their work by making short cuts. Also with changes to the Building Act 1991 it meant that there were less regulations. To make matters even worse many construction companies failed to carry out inspection work and issue completion certificates. With less regulations and builders taking shortcuts in installing cladding and without building inspections many homes became damp. 

Bottom line: The breakdown of the apprenticeship system, unqualified builders and council staff carrying out building inspections without the training or any building knowledge to ensure that the cladding was weathertight.


Property InspectorA building inspector’s career can be very rewarding however it comes with a great deal of responsibility so adequate training is essential. In a nutshell it is your job to identify and report on defects, safety issues and any other item of significance within a new home or established residence in accordance with the Australian Standard.

At Housesafe we offer a number of different courses from Pre-Purchase Building Inspections, New Construction, Mould & Asbestos ID, Swimming Pool Safety Certification, Strata Inspections and more.

The first step in building your business is to get qualified and accredited, the more recognised the credentials the easier it will be for you to get new clients and gain trust within the inspection industry. The second most important step is to purchase public liability and professional indemnity insurance to protect yourself from litigation should you err in your reporting and the homeowner is advised into legal action.

It would also be wise to start a marketing plan as you are training to become a building inspector this should include website and social media aimed at networking with Real Estate agents, Banks, Conveyancers, Solicitors and one Mortgage Brokers. These are the people who you can develop a business relationship with and hopefully gain their trust for referring people to your business.

Speaking of Marketing, take into consideration the name of your business and try and reflect that in the website name too. It’s a competitive industry so you may have to give a lot of thought to this. Best to have a name that distinguishes you and your true purpose.