Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Report Offers Building Owners More Certainty About Standards


Report Offers Building Owners More Certainty About Standards

Building owners now have more certainty about earthquake-prone building standards and acceptable levels of stability and safety, according to Property Council New Zealand.

Today’s release of Volume 4 of the Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission’s final report on building failure during the Canterbury earthquakes and the Government’s draft proposals to improve the earthquake-prone building system provide some welcome recommendations, after months of analysis and industry consultation.

Property Council’s chief executive Connal Townsend said the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment [MBIE] consultation document focuses on acceptable levels of risk and protecting people from harm.

“Consequently, it recommends ensuring all buildings are assessed and where necessary, strengthened to meet 33 per cent of New Build Standard within a 15 year timeframe. The document appears to balance practical solutions with the highest safety benefits.

“The Government’s extensive consultation has resulted in a policy where tenants will ultimately influence building standards by demanding high standards of earthquake strengthening. An improved risk assessment of a building during an earthquake includes a new graduated scale that will allow the public to be much better informed about a building’s level of resilience. Owners of low resilience buildings can be forced into remedying or removing it.”

Mr Townsend said the Government’s proposed timeframes for strengthening took into account that hundreds of thousands of buildings in New Zealand could not be strengthened overnight. “A lack of skilled engineers and legal issues to do with lease agreements are just two issues which tend to affect progress.”

Under the proposed changes, local authorities would have five years to complete a desk top assessment of buildings. “Once we know the scale of work needed to upgrade building stock, we will have a better understanding of the cost. What we do know is that this will cost our industry - our country - billions of dollars to address.

“The Government conservatively indicates a $1.68 billion cost to strengthen all buildings under the proposed system. This will largely fall on building owners - already bearing huge costs because they cannot claim tax depreciation for a building structure.

“Owners of heritage and character properties in particular, will find the cost of earthquake strengthening prohibitive. If we want to prevent owners from walking away, leaving properties vacant and tenantless, the Government needs to address this imbalance in the tax system.”

END.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Strike: Lyttelton Port Workers Vote To Escalate Dispute

Members of the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) at Lyttelton Port today voted to escalate their industrial action. Around 200 RMTU members have been operating an overtime ban since 17 December and today they endorsed a series of full withdrawals of labour at the port. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Dollar Falls To 3-Year Low As Investors Favour Greenback

The New Zealand dollar fell to its lowest in more than three years as investors sold euro and bought US dollars, weakening other currencies against the greenback. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Govt Operating Deficit Smaller Than Expected

The New Zealand’s government’s operating deficit was smaller than expected in the first five months of the financial year as a clampdown on expenditure managed to offset a shortfall in the tax-take from last month’s forecast. More>>

ALSO:

0.8 Percent Annually:
NZ Inflation Falls Below RBNZ's Target

New Zealand's annual pace of inflation slowed to below the Reserve Bank's target band in the final three months of the year, giving governor Graeme Wheeler more room to keep the benchmark interest rate lower for longer.More>>

ALSO:

NASA, NOAA: Find 2014 Warmest Year In Modern Record

Since 1880, Earth’s average surface temperature has warmed by about 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degrees Celsius), a trend that is largely driven by the increase in carbon dioxide and other human emissions into the planet’s atmosphere. The majority of that warming has occurred in the past three decades. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: New Zealand’s Reserve Bank Named Central Bank Of The Year

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand’s efforts to stifle house price inflation by using new policy tools has seen the institution named Central Bank of the year by Central Banking Publications, a publisher specialising in global central banking practice. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news