People wanting to have their say on a new national policy on
earthquake-prone buildings will get a chance to learn what is
proposed at a public meeting in Dunedin later this month.
Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment's (MBIE)
proposals for a national approach to deal with
earthquake-prone buildings were released in December for
If adopted, all earthquake-prone buildings would be dealt
with within 15 years, compared with an average of 28 years at
present. In essence, the proposals require all
non-residential and multi-unit, multi-storey residential
buildings to have seismic capacity assessment within five
years of the changes taking effect, with this information to
be made publicly available on a register.
All earthquake-prone buildings would need to be strengthened
to at least 34% of the requirement for a new building, or
demolished, within 15 years of the changes taking effect.
The 15-year time frame comprises up to five years to complete
the seismic capacity assessment, followed by up to 10 years
for strengthening or demolition.
Views are sought on whether present Building Act fire escape
and disability upgrade requirements are, in practice, a
barrier to building owners deciding to carry out
earthquake-strengthening work, and how heritage buildings can
be preserved and made safer.
Decisions taken on these proposals will form part of the
Government's full response to the Canterbury Earthquakes
Royal Commission report.
The Otago meeting, at 5.30pm at the Otago University Lecture
Theatre Burns on February 21, is one of a series of public
meetings to be held during the month. The meetings aim to
help those wanting to make a submission better understand the
present building system, as well as the proposed changes.
Submissions on the proposals are open until March 8.
After the consultation period closes, the MBIE will analyse
feedback and submissions and report to the Government for it
to make decisions.
If adopted, the proposals will require legislative change, at
which point there will be a further opportunity for public
input through the normal select committee process.