Now is the time to react and air concerns on the
Government's proposals to improve the safety of
earthquake-prone buildings Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan says.
Southern communities could potentially face a joint bill of
$1.8 billion a study has found, and Mr Cadogan says the
Government is not considering the effect the policy would
have on small towns.
''I'm really scared that the effect could be detrimental in
our wee communities. I'm really scared that in order to save
out wee towns, we will need to destroy them.''
Townships like Lawrence, which had many historic buildings
with low leases, would struggle under the proposed measures.
''If we don't take a pragmatic approach, it will be quite
Mr Cadogan said an economic impact report commissioned by
southern councils on the Government's proposal was not
scaremongering. They were being proactive.
''The recent closure of our courthouse shows us that the
public can not be apathetic on issues such as this. The pace
of proposed change, the ability for the public to react, and
the ramifications of allowing a one-size-fits-all legislation
to be passed, has the potential for a irreparable long-term
breakdown of all aspects of our community. Now is the time to
Ten of the 11 district and city councils south of Timaru
banded together to pay for the analysis.
The desktop analysis was done by Arrowtown consulting firm
Rationale. It based estimates on QV data supplied by the
councils using a formula developed by structural engineers.
Low-use buildings, such as shearing sheds and hay barns, were
included in the study, because the proposals did not allow
The report estimates strengthening costs of $153 million for
Clutha and $3.1 million assessment costs for the council, but
Mr Cadogan warned this was a ''conservative'' figure.
He said the report estimated 27 full-time engineers would be
needed just to compile the earthquake data on all buildings
in the southern South Island required under the Government's
With engineers in demand after the Christchurch earthquakes,
assessment and strengthening costs could rise.
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull, who officially released the results
on behalf of the group on Friday, said the analysis was
indicative and based on the broadest understanding of the
proposal, so was likely to be a worst-case scenario. It was
necessary to ensure the Government had a clear understanding
of the potential impacts on rural and provincial areas.
Earlier this month Building and Construction Minister Maurice
Williamson said getting the policy right involved striking a
balance between the risks and the costs of strengthening or
demolition. Submissions on the policy close on March 8.
The Clutha District Council's submission to the earthquake
strengthening proposal will be tabled at its meeting on