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

 

Fruitful Endeavours: Kiwifruit Exports Reach Record Levels

In June 2016, kiwifruit exports rose $105 million (47 percent) from June 2015 to reach $331 million, Statistics New Zealand said today. Overall, goods exports rose $109 million (2.6 percent) in June 2016 (to $4.3 billion). More>>

ALSO:

Economic Update: RBNZ Says Rate Cut Seems Likely

The Reserve Bank will likely cut interest rates further as a persistently strong kiwi dollar makes it difficult for the bank to meet its inflation target, it said. The local currency fell. More>>

ALSO:

House Price Action Plan: RBNZ Signals National Lending Restrictions

The central bank wants to cap bank lending to property investors with a deposit of less than 40 percent at 5 percent and restore the 10 percent limit for owner-occupiers wanting to take out a mortgage with a deposit of less than 20 percent, according to a consultation paper released today. More>>

ALSO:

Sparks Fly: Gordon Campbell On China Steel Dumping Allegations

No doubt, officials on the China desk at MFAT have prided themselves on fashioning a niche position for New Zealand right in between the US and China – and leveraging off both of them! Well, as the Aussies would say, of MFAT: tell ‘em they’re dreaming. More>>

ALSO:

Loan Sharks: Finance Companies Found Guilty Of Breaching Fair Trading Act

Finance companies Budget Loans and Evolution Finance, run by former 1980s corporate high-flyer Allan Hawkins, have been found guilty of 106 charges of breaching the Fair Trading Act for misleading 21 borrowers while enforcing loan contracts. More>>

ALSO:

Post Panama Papers: Govt To Adopt Shewan's Foreign Trust Recommendations

The government will adopt all of the recommendations from former PwC chairman John Shewan to increase disclosure and introduce a register for foreign trusts with new legislation to be introduced next month. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news