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Quake-Prone Buildings – Meeting On 5 February

NEWS RELEASE
30 January 2012

Quake-Prone Buildings – Meeting On 5 February

Wellingtonians are invited to a meeting on Tuesday 5 February to discuss the Government’s proposed changes to how New Zealand deals with earthquake-prone buildings.

The meeting, first of a series around the country, is organised by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in conjunction with Wellington City Council.

Mayor Celia Wade-Brown urges Wellingtonians to attend the meeting. “This is an important event for anyone who is interested and concerned about the future of Wellington’s resilience, heritage and economy.
“Wellington City is taking a leading role in earthquake resilience. The Government’s proposals will need to support all vulnerable communities around the country”.
Councillor Iona Pannett, the Council’s Built Environment Portfolio Leader, says the Government’s proposals are significant and will generate discussion within the community.

The proposals include the following:
• councils will have 5 years to assess all of the country’s commercial and multi-story buildings and owners will have a further 10 years to strengthen them
• more central rather than local government control over seismic standards and assessments,
• the omission of residential properties from seismic standards
• an emphasis on primarily preserving ‘important’ heritage buildings rather than the majority of the country’s older building stock.

Cr Pannett says there is likely to be discussion about a possible relaxation of rules relating to disability access to buildings.

“The issue of insurance and who will pay for the strengthening work will likely come up at the meeting,” says Cr Pannett.

Public consultation on the Government’s proposed changes closes on Friday 8 March. You can make a submission online at dbh.govt.nz where you’ll also find the consultation document and explanatory video.

The 5 February meeting, starting at 7pm, will be in the Michael Fowler Centre.

For more information about Wellington’s approach to earthquake strengthening go to http://www.wellington.govt.nz/services/earthquake/index.html

ENDS

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