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Dunne Calls for List of Capital's Quake-Prone Buildings

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Dunne Calls for Public List of Capital's Quake-Prone Buildings

Ohariu MP Peter Dunne has called on Wellington civic leaders to provide a "roll call" of Wellington and the Hutt Valley's commercial and public buildings that are classified as quake-prone.

"Everyone understands that remedying these situations is a process that takes time, and no one is panicking, but I think there is a fundamental public right to know the status of a building they might be working in or using frequently," Mr Dunne said.

"I do not think people will behave in a knee-jerk way with this information. Officials need to trust the people here, but I cannot think of a compelling reason for the public not being told.

'The commercial imperative for property owners to protect the value of their investment is certainly not a good enough reason for withholding this kind of information from the people of greater Wellington - indeed, informing them might actually give property owners an extra push to get earthquake strengthening work done more promptly," he said.

Mr Dunne said it was good to see local councils heading to Christchurch and learning the lessons from last week's Christchurch earthquake.

'That is absolutely prudent and the lessons and the data gained will be very important.

"But right now, we need an open and transparent approach to the reality of the issues that we could all face at any time.

"If the Capital has buildings that potentially could perform like the Pine Gould and CTV buildings in Christchurch in a worst case scenario, then there is a right to know and individuals have the right to make decisions that might be as simple as not using those buildings'.

Mr Dunne said people had demonstrated a very sensible approach to the earthquake generally and he had no doubt this would continue.

ENDS

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