Building inspector predicts 'serious injuries or fatalities' in substandard NZ buildings

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A Wellington building inspector claims there are so many issues with buildings in New Zealand that some should not be inhabited, and there could be injuries or loss of life in an earthquake.

Thomas Wutzler claims to have uncovered major safety issues in office and apartment buildings around the country.
Source: 1 NEWS

Thomas Wutzler told 1 NEWS he's speaking out about the issues as he doesn't want mistakes to be made during the current construction boom.

"Something will have to need to be done. It's just a matter of time before... you know there's going to be serious injuries or fatalities. And I think it would be nice to not to wait for that to be the catalyst," he said. 

Mr Wutzler said some of the issues he has seen recently include leaks, rotting cement and timber, concrete blocks not fixed, rotten balconies, steel bracing not connected, major structural issues, fire protection issues and mould so bad that buildings shouldn't be inhabited. 

But Wellington engineer Maurice Clark said these issues aren't common and if your job is to specifically look for faults then there would always be some to find.

But he admits leaky homes are an issue.

"It's an issue across the board. The issues of leaky buildings has probably highlighted these faults a lot more," Mr Clark said. 

The issues were found around the country, but many are in Wellington.

The Wellington City Council said it couldn't comment as they're not aware of the buildings Mr Wutzler has identified, but said they would like to hear from him so he can give the details.

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