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Draft Building Safety Policies passed

15 February 2006

Draft Building Safety Policies passed for consultation

Sound and safe buildings in Manukau are the focus of a draft policy being released later this month for public consultation.

Discussed last week by Manukau City Council’s Environment and Urban Design Committee, the draft policy is a requirement of the Building Act 2004 whereby all local authorities must identify and ensure the strengthening of earthquake prone buildings in their areas.

“Despite the long title “Manukau City Council Draft policies on Earthquake Prone and Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings”, we have a relatively short time to implement the policies in their final form,” said the Committee’s Chair Noel Burnside.

“The policies will not state all the buildings Manukau have to be up to standard by 31 May this year. What we will have is a schedule for the identification, the standard to which they have to be strengthened in the case of earthquakes and a calendar for that to occur. The model proposed by the Government means we will not be enforcing remedial action until at least 2020.

“Essentially the policies, demanded by the Building Act, will focus on buildings taller than one storey built before 1975. This reduces the number of Manukau property owners affected compared to other cities in the region, however, we recognise there will be costs attached to this for the Council and property owners. This Committee will be keeping a close eye on such affects.

‘While the Building Act 2004 is national legislation, the scope of these particular policies has been left up to the experience and discretion of local authorities. This is a sensible move as it would be silly to enforce standards that suit Wellington conditions in Manukau or vice versa,” said Councillor Burnside.

“As the Dangerous and Insanitary Building draft policies are based on our current policies people will not see many differences from the current regime”.

The draft policies will be available for public consultation from the 27 February with the submission period closing on 31 March.


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