A Supreme Court decision has paved the way for owners of leaky commercial buildings and properties with other structural defects, to sue their council.
The ruling, released on Thursday in relation to a hotel and apartment block in Auckland, said councils should be responsible for problem commercial buildings signed off in the last 10 years.
Councils around the country spoken to by Radio New Zealand News say they are talking to their lawyers to work out the financial implications of the ruling.
But Paul Grimshaw, a lawyer representing hundreds of building owners, said there is nowhere for councils to hide.
Mr Grimshaw said any owner of a problem building constructed and inspected in the past decade can now sue.
He has already had numerous calls from people wanting to investigate fresh legal action.