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Earthquake Prone Building Threshold should remain static

Media Release

24 January 2013

Earthquake Prone Building Threshold should remain at Current Level

The Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce has welcomed the view of risk management expert Tony Taig that lifting the earthquake prone building threshold from 33% to 67% is of questionable benefit.

“The requirement to strengthen earthquake prone buildings is going to impose a huge cost on businesses over coming years and it is important that the required standards are supported by sound science,” said Chief Executive Raewyn Bleakley.

“Mr Taig’s report to the government says that we should focus on bringing all vulnerable buildings up to the 33% threshold rather than raising the threshold. We agree that should be the priority.

“The issue of earthquake strengthening and higher insurance costs that have arisen following the Canterbury earthquakes are a major issue for businesses throughout New Zealand particularly in areas such as Wellington.

“Christchurch has taught us that we need to be prepared for the big one and saving lives must be the priority but at the same time common sense needs to prevail.

“We look forward to scrutinising the report more closely and making submissions on the government’s proposals,” Ms Bleakley concluded.

ends

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