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Proposal gives extra incentive for safety

Lianne Dalziel
Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson

7 February 2012

Proposal gives extra incentive for safety

A local initiative to rate at-risk Canterbury buildings would bring peace of mind to both tenants and property owners, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Lianne Dalziel.

“A simple star-rated system would let tenants and workers know they are safe, while ensuring the property owner’s investment in any strengthening is recognised by the property sector at large.

“The proposal, put forward by Christchurch Lawyer Don Holden, would be of significant use to the property market - with property owners, buyers, real estate agents, insurers and bankers benefitting from the clarity and enhanced safety the scheme encourages,” Lianne Dalziel said.

“This simple idea will speed up property owners’ interactions with insurers and ensure that their investments in strengthening their buildings are noted.

“I have been worried for some time that, despite the evidence emerging from the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Building Failures caused by the Canterbury earthquakes, we will have to await the report (due in April) and the government’s response before any action is taken.

“People want feedback on the safety of their building for their own peace of mind, but this proposal gives safety a commercial incentive too.

“The concept of allowing a panel of engineers to undertake an assessment and estimate a building's safety is an excellent one.

“There is growing concern that there are insufficient incentives to address earthquake risk at the moment, and this may be a solution, not just for Christchurch, but for the rest of New Zealand as well,” Lianne Dalziel said.


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