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  • Writer's pictureTania Dunn

Understanding Weather Tightness

Updated: Dec 2, 2023

Weather tightness in New Zealand is an important factor to consider when building or renovating a home. Weather tightness is the ability of a building to keep out wind, rain, and other elements. In New Zealand, the Building Code requires that all buildings must be weather-tight. This means that the building must be designed and constructed in such a way that it can withstand the elements and keep the occupants safe and comfortable. Weather tightness is achieved through a combination of good design.

New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscapes, but it also experiences some harsh weather conditions. As a result, it is essential to ensure that residential homes in New Zealand are weather-tight to protect the occupants and their belongings. Let’s discuss weather tightness in residential homes in New Zealand.

What is weather tightness?

Weather tightness refers to a building's ability to prevent water penetration from outside during rainfall, high winds, and other weather events. A weather-tight building is designed to resist rainwater, wind-driven rain, and any moisture that may enter the building's exterior.

Why is weather tightness important?

Weather tightness is vital in residential homes because it helps to prevent water damage, which can cause structural problems, mould growth, and health hazards. A weather-tight building ensures that the occupants are safe and comfortable, and their belongings are protected from water damage.

New Zealand's weather

New Zealand experiences a wide range of weather conditions, ranging from hot summers to cold and wet winters. The country is also prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes and storms, which can cause significant damage to buildings.

Building codes and weather tightness

New Zealand has building codes that set the minimum standards for the design and construction of buildings. These codes include provisions for weather tightness to ensure that buildings can withstand New Zealand's weather conditions.

The Building Code sets out a range of weather-tightness requirements, including the use of appropriate materials, cladding systems, and weather-resistant barriers. It also requires that all external openings, such as windows and doors, are appropriately sealed and flashed to prevent water penetration.

The Weathertight Homes Resolution Service

In 2002, New Zealand established the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service to help homeowners who had purchased leaky homes. This service provided financial assistance to homeowners to repair their leaky homes, and it also set new standards for weather tightness in residential homes.

The service was replaced in 2019 by the Financial Assistance Package, which provides financial support to eligible homeowners for repairing or replacing their leaky homes.


Weather tightness is essential in residential homes in New Zealand to protect the occupants and their belongings from water damage. New Zealand's building codes set out the minimum standards for weather tightness, and the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service and the Financial Assistance Package provide support to homeowners who have purchased leaky homes.

If you are planning to build or buy a residential home in New Zealand, it is essential to ensure that it is weather-tight to protect yourself and your investment from water damage.

Child looking out a window on a wet day
Child looking out a window on a wet day

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