The best public interest advocates are heroes. They go into bat for the little guy. They challenge the vested corporate interests. They prod politicians into action. One such person is John Gray of the Homeowners and Buyers Association of NZ (HOBANZ).
John Gray is the go-to guy when it comes to the leaky homes issue. He is one of the smartest commentators on the issue. And over the last few years he and his organisation have helped countless distressed homeowners navigate their way through the financial, legal and bureaucratic nightmare of dealing with a leaky home.
He went through his own nightmare when he discovered his new Auckland townhouse leaked, and after taking his claim to court and winning a settlement, he was beseiged by other home owners in a similar predicament. He went on to form HOBANZ. And tonight on ONE he fronts an hour long investigative documentary about the leaky homes disaster which affects up to 89,000 homes and has left a repair bill estimated to be up to $23 billion.
(Tomorrow on Parliamentary TV we’ll be debating the committee stages of the Weathertight Homes Financial Assistance Package Bill which is the latest attempt by Government to tackle the problem.)