Asher J's decision reported by the Herald this morning should not surprise watchers of the leaky homes litigation- it adds schools to the list of institutions ( motels, tourist lodges and charitable hospitals) that cannot sue for leaks . The government after all is as far removed from the prototypical NZ house owner whom the Court of Appeal deemed worthy of protection in NZ. Indeed there would have been some irony if the central government, who after the BIA decision is immune for much of the financial affects of the crisis could have sued local authorities. But what is important Asher J’s judgment is that yet again a High Court judge has emphasised the exceptionalism of the Hamlin. Asher J casts doubt over the supposed link between the aims of the Building Act on the one hand to protect health and safety and the need to provide compensation of the other hand. What the Court of Appeal will have to face in appeal in the Sunset Avenues and Botony Downs appeals later this year, is why the same logic does not apply to domestic dwellings. Geoff McLay, Reader


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