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

 

Half Full: Dairy Payouts Steady, Cash Will Be Tight

Industry body DairyNZ is advising farmers to focus on strong cashflow management as they look ahead to the 2015-16 season following Fonterra's half-year results announcement today. More>>

ALSO:

First Union: Cotton On Plans To Use “Tea Break” Law

“The Prime Minister reassured New Zealanders that ‘post the passing of this law, will you all of a sudden find thousands of workers who are denied having a tea break? The answer is absolutely not’... Cotton On is proposing to remove tea and meal breaks for workers in its safety sensitive distribution centre. How long before other major chains try and follow suit?” More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ-Korea FTA Signed Amid Spying, Lost Sovereignty Claims

A long-awaited free trade agreement between New Zealand and South Korea has been signed in Seoul by Prime Minister John Key and the Korean president, Park Geun-hye. More>>

ALSO:

PM Visit: NZ And Viet Nam Agree Ambitious Trade Target

New Zealand and Viet Nam have agreed an ambitious target of doubling two-way goods and service trade to around $2.2 billion by 2020, Prime Minister John Key has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: NZ Economy Grows 0.8% In Fourth Quarter

The New Zealand economy expanded in the fourth quarter as tourists drove growth in retailing and accommodation, and property sales increased demand for real estate services. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: RBNZ’s Wheeler Keeps OCR On Hold, No Rate Hikes Ahead

The Reserve Bank has removed the prospect of future interest rate hikes from its forecast horizon as a strong kiwi dollar and cheap oil hold down inflation, and the central bank ponders whether to lower its assessment of where “neutral” interest rates should be. The kiwi dollar gained. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news