Home' Greymouth Star : March 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
of the New Zealand Herald
Wellington couple Sharon and Kevin
Leigh, facing a $350,000-plus bill to fix
their rotting house, have joined the new
$100 million-plus leaky home class action.
“It has just ruined us,” Sharon Leigh
“O ur property is a beautiful home with a
beautiful view and we don’t want to move.
My health is extremely bad. I take pain
relief medication every day due to stress.
I’m a chronic asthmatic and we’ve been
told by builders and consultants that I
should not be living in the house because
of the black rot and mould. But where do
we go? It ’s gut wrenching. ”
Construction of the 293 square metre
house, c lad in James Hardie’s Harditex
monolithic material, was started in 1992
but only finished in 2001 due to a house-
builder’s collapse, she said.
The couple bought the house in 2006,
not knowing of any problems and with a
clean pre-purchase inspection report.
They discovered issues in February 2013
when re-carpeting and they saw a skirting
“ We’ve removed internal walling and
flooring from a spare bedroom on the
middle level of the three-storey house.
That has serious damage including
holes in the particle board floor. There
is no flashing on the Harditex exterior
cladding so where the joins are, there’s
sunlight coming straight through and rain
penetrates that gap inside our house,” she
“The framing is completely rotted and
in some parts there is no framing because
it’s completely rotted out. There’s nothing
The couple cannot sue in the High
Court because they do not have the money
and nor can they go to the Weathertight
Homes Tribunal because the final sign-off
for the house was in 2001, more than 10
years ago, making it ineligible for the state
mediation and arbitration scheme.
Gay Johnson of Castor Bay has spent
$600,000 fixing her place. She has also
joined the action and is in much the same
position as the Leighs: her house was built
in 1995 so was well outside the 10-year
Auckland lawyer Adina Thorn wants
owners of plaster-c lad buildings to join her
action which has now passed the $100m
threshold. She said that was the cost of
repair claims, including one $10m-plus
Auckland apartment block repair.
In a separate case, Jim Farmer, QC, is
awaiting a Court of Appeal decision in the
action involving Carter Holt Har vey and
880 leaky Ministry of Education school
Meanwhile, action against James
Hardie and CSR resulted in confidential
settlements being reached with both those
businesses, Farmer said.
Thorn said her action came after
approaches from owners of buildings
constructed using Harditex, Monotek,
Titan board and various different
She refuses to say who the action is
Registration is enabling her to assess
the scale of the claim and gather expert
evidence for the case.
By late last week, about 400 people had
registered their interest, with most claims
James Hardie in Sydney, which made
Harditex, Monotek and Titan board,
would not comment.
Thorn said an international business was
funding the action but Paul Grimshaw,
of Auckland law firm Grimshaw and Co,
which acts for about 6000 leaky-home
owners, said that if it succeeded, people
overseas stood to benefit financially.
Thorn said she had spent the past two
years working on the case and she hopes
to be able to announce the next step soon.
What caused leaky buildings?
First comprehensive report released
Hunn report commissioned by
Building Industry Authority.
That found a “systemic failure” across
the building industry.
Leaky building victims now want to
$100m-plus class action announced
PICTURE: New Zealand Herald
Sharon Leigh in one of the water-damaged rooms in her house.
Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 5
Former Labour leader
David Cunliffe and his
wife, Karen Price, have
separated after more than
30 years of marriage.
Mr Cunliffe confirmed
the split last night but
said he would not discuss
it further “for the sake
of our children and our
The couple have two
Karen Price is a
lawyer and at last year’s
election Mr Cunliffe
reluctantly agreed to
allow media into their
Campbell Live showed
a glimpse of their home
life in Herne Bay with
her tending to her
beehive, five chickens, a
dog, a cat, budgies and
The pair met at Otago
University and were
married when she was 19
and he was 21.
Last year she said: “I
thought he was pretty
dishy. He was tall,
country boyish, with a
long blonde afro and a
washboard stomach. ”
But she also said she
was a mother and lawyer
before she was a political
She played a key role in
his successful campaign
in 2013 to become
Labour leader in a run-
off with Shane Jones and
After last year’s election
loss Karen Price set
up a Twitter account
under her nickname “@
Mr Cunliffe’s critics in
caucus, such as Clayton
Mr Cunliffe said at
the time: “She’s pretty
awesome. She was
defending her man,
but nonetheless, she
recognises it was ill-
judged and at a time of
— New Zealand Herald
Numbers in Keno draw
No 10972: 10, 11, 19, 20,
23, 27, 30, 31, 33, 39, 41,
43, 47, 50, 55, 58, 59, 64,
73, 75. Draw No 10973:
35, 39, 42, 45, 47, 57, 61,
62, 65, 69, 71, 77.
Draw No 10974: 3, 20,
22, 24, 31, 33, 35, 37, 40,
41, 42, 43, 46, 49, 50,
54, 55, 56, 57, 80. Draw
No 10975: 4, 6, 19, 20,
21, 26, 40, 51, 53, 57, 59,
60, 62, 63, 65, 69, 74, 77,
Homeowners join $100m class action
on leaky houses
Phone the team on 768 5905
17 Tarapuhi Street,
For genuine parts,
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For a no obligation free quote call 768 6358 today or call in and see us at
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DON’T GET CAUGHT
OUT THIS WINTER!
COME AND SEE
THE BOYS AT
ew Zealand’s winters can test
even the most reliable cars, and
the safest drivers, on our roads.
Cold starts, icy and wet roads,
early nightfall and heavy rains all put extra
strain on the complex mechanical operations
of the modern motor vehicle.
MTA chief executive Rob MacGregor says
vehicles are more likely to break down when
operating under extreme conditions, and
motorists can make their winter driving
much more enjoyable, safe and hassle-free
by performing a few basic car care checks.
“Staying in control on the roads starts
before you turn your car on — with fewer
mandatory checks, motor vehicle owners are
going to have to be a lot more aware of what’s
going on with their vehicles,” MacGregor says.
“Small issues turn into major problems, if
left unfixed; these can range from preventing
you from getting where you are going and
being expensive to fix to being downright
dangerous, for you and everyone else.”
MTA recommends motorists check the
following parts of their vehicles, to keep
them safe and working as they’re supposed
to, all winter long:
1. Inspect your tyres.
Tread depth and tyre wear and condition
have major effects on your vehicle’s stopping
distances, and how well you stay on the road.
Tyres do not always wear evenly, so check
the whole tread — not just the inside edges.
Also, get to know your tyre pressures — it’s
often on the inside pillar on the driver’s side
door — and check it regularly. Most service
stations have free air pumps; if you fill your
tyres when you fill your gas tank, both will
2. Check your fluid levels.
Follow the manufacturer’s recommended
oil change intervals: ignoring this can result
in catastrophic engine failure. Also, check
your coolant and water levels monthly -
this protects modern motors from the huge
temperature variations they go through,
every trip. Finally, top up your windscreen
washer fluid - and use a proper windscreen-
specific additive; dishwashing liquid can
corrode the metal parts of your washing
mechanism. All of these are generally covered
in a professional service by a good mechanic.
3. Replace your wiper blades.
If you find your windscreen frosts over in the
early mornings, keeping an ice scraper in the
glove box can be a good idea — and much
better for your windscreen than pouring a
jug of boiling water on it.
4. Keep your lights bright.
Winter brings fewer daylight hours and
earlier nightfall — don’t get caught in the
dark. Check all bulbs on your vehicle are
working, including your indicators. Also,
make sure the laminate in the light housing
isn’t cracked, pitted or webbed; this can
dramatically diffuse the beams, reducing
5. Check your brakes.
Does your car stop as well as it should? If
your brakes wheeze, squeal or groan, instead
of bite, you may need to get them checked.
Brake pads convert the moving force of the
whole vehicle into heat; it’s a tough and
essential job, and they wear out. Replacing
worn brake pads is much cheaper than
replacing brake pads along with brake drums
and rotors — which is what happens if you
6. Look after your battery
In colder weather, your motor draws
more charge from the battery to turn over.
Whenever you open your car’s bonnet,
make sure the battery is clean, and test that
all connections are tight. If you have any
concerns about how much power it has left,
most vehicle battery shops will test this for
free. — New Zealand Herald
Drive slower than you normally would - it only
takes a split second to lose control in wet or icy
Avoid sudden braking or turning movements
that could cause you to skid. Accelerate smoothly
and brake gently, and use your highest gear when
travelling uphill and your lowest downhill.
For vehicles without anti-skid braking systems,
pump the brake pedal in short rapid bursts rather
than pressing long and hard to avoid skidding or
sliding. Drive at a safe travelling distance because
it takes longer to stop on slippery roads.
In winter, especially in poor weather, double
the two-second rule and leave a safe distance
between you and the car you’re following. When
travelling in fog, rain or snow, drive with your
lights dipped for increased safety.
Some people believe they are safer in a 4WD.
However, these vehicles are no better in winter
conditions than any others.
You still need to drive to the conditions.
What about ice and snow?
Look out for shaded areas caused by high banks
and tall trees where roads freeze sooner and ice
may not thaw during the day.
Bridges could also stay slippery longer than
other road surfaces, so slow down when crossing.
Frost is more severe at daybreak so be prepared
for this after it becomes light. While it may not be
frosty at 6am, it could be an hour or two later.
What should I do on
Winter motoring tips
JJ Automotive Ltd
Come in and see us
for all your winter
Call us for any mechanical or WOF needs.
We are the West Coast’s only authorised
Nissan, Great Wall, Foton, Chery and
Isuzu service and parts agent
20 Turumaha St
Ph 768 4952
• Warrants of Fitness
• Snow Socks
• Auto Electrical
• Mechanical Repairs
• Car Audio Specialists
• Parts Department
Corner of Revell and Hamilton Streets, Hokitika
Phone: 03 755 8690
GETTING READY FOR WINTER
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