News Non-Life18 Jun 2018

New Zealand:Scores of buildings with combustible cladding identified in major cities

18 Jun 2018

The Auckland Council has found 116 buildings with similar aluminum composite panels - of which 25 have panels with highly combustible polyethylene cores which burned rapidly in Grenfell Tower fire in London last year - and Wellington City Council has identified 113. In Christchurch, 29 buildings with highly combustible polyethylene panel have been identified.

Last June, combustible cladding spread fire quickly through the Grenfell Tower apartment block in London, killing 72 people.

In New Zealand, insurers will be watching closely the situation, reports by Radio NZ.

Insurance Council chief executive Tim Grafton indicated that with the affected buildings now in the public domain, individual insurers would reconsider risks, which could affect premiums.

"The risk assessments will be redone on the basis of the information that's just been released by the city council and then we'll just have to see what that risk assessment produces and any change it might have."

Leading building disputes lawyer Paul Grimshaw said that he was surprised at the number of buildings with the cladding and concerned property owners have approached him and his firm about what to do.

"The first thing is to find out if it's a problem and what type of cladding has been used, whether it's dangerous, whether the whole cladding system has been correctly installed.

He said legal action could be taken against those who failed to put up the correct system and could include councils, architects and developers.


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