Building Inspection in Manukau – The Perils of Not Conducting An Asbestos Testing

For many years the building report in Manukau was prepared by Jim’s Building Inspections. Jim is the building inspection report author for the city of Manukau. This is just his third building inspection report in Manukau, after working for 40 years with the city of Taupo and then in Rotorua for the Government..

What he found was the level of building inspection report confusion in Manukau. There were too many reports to keep track of. Sometimes the building inspection report was totally inconsistent with what was actually on the property. In one case it turned out to be a completely different story, where a particular column in a column was off by one inch.

One concern Jim had with building report in Manukau was the inclusion of asbestos. One of the reasons why he felt this was important was because asbestos is known to cause cancer. A building inspection would inadvertently show this material. Since this is the case, it was important to get a second opinion on this issue. So Jim took a sample of the asbestos from his building and sent it to a microbiology lab in Auckland for testing.

It was found that the asbestos in the building report in Manukau did contain a small amount of asbestos. This was good news as the levels were low enough to avoid any health risks. However the levels detected were not as low as they should have been under the standards set by New Zealand. The report author said that he could not explain why the level was so low, but acknowledged that the building inspection report contained inaccuracies. The report writer continued to say that all corrections would be made and that he would contact all involved and publish a corrected version of the report.

Jim was relieved when this report ended and he knew there would be no more problems with his building report in Manukau. However, just days later he received another notice from his building surveyor that the asbestos is still there. Jim called his surveyor to find out why his asbestos had been removed, but he was told that he only needed to show him the certificate of release.

Jim knew that he should have asked for the certificate but he did not. He also knew that he should have asked for an asbestos inspection after the building report in Manukau was complete and he could not remember the contents of the report. Jim decided that he was past the point of getting an asbestos inspection and was not going to try to remove it any longer. Jim was wrong. On his way back from a holiday in the United States, he stopped off at the nearest police station and a Detective talked him into getting a search warrant.

When the Detective arrived at Jim’s house to serve the warrant, he found that the building inspection had been stopped. Jim explained that he had asked to be taken off the building inspection and that the building inspector had told him not to go ahead with it. Jim looked at the building inspector and asked what could be done. The building inspector replied that there were several things that could be done, but that he could not give any details. Jim was surprised to hear this and assumed that the building inspection was over.