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Report into CTV building collapse released

Hon Gerry Brownlee
Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery
Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction

9 February 2012 Media Statement

Report into CTV building collapse released

The release today of the technical report into the collapse of the CTV building in Christchurch will be a tough day for the friends and families of those who lost their lives in the building, Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee and Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said today.

"The report provides insight into why the building collapsed on 22 February. It also raises some serious questions about the structural integrity of the building," Mr Brownlee said.

"This news will be painful for the families, colleagues and friends of the 115 people who lost their lives in the collapse of the CTV building. Our thoughts are with them on this difficult day," Mr Brownlee said.

The Government directed the Department of Building and Housing (DBH) to undertake a technical investigation into the failure of four key buildings – Pyne Gould Corporation (PGC), Forsyth Barr, Hotel Grand Chancellor and CTV – during the Christchurch earthquake on 22 February.

The CTV report is the fourth and final to be completed after the report into the first three buildings was delivered in September last year.

"The report found there were three aspects of the design and construction of the CTV building that did not meet the standards of the day," Mr Brownlee said.

"We note the report has now been passed onto the NZ Police to look into further and will also help inform the Royal Commission of Inquiry.

"The Police have advised they will now seek a legal opinion and carry out a preliminary assessment, to determine if further investigative action is required."

Mr Williamson said the report also made recommendations around five key areas – irregular structures, non-ductile columns, pre-cast concrete panels and masonry infill walls, diaphragm connections, and design and construction quality.

"We note DBH has accepted all the recommendations. It has already taken action on some and plans have been made to implement the other recommendations across the building and construction sectors.

"The vast majority of buildings in greater Christchurch performed well in the major earthquakes on 4 September 2010 and 22 February 2011.

"The 22 February earthquake was incredibly intense and peak vertical shaking was among the highest-ever recorded internationally in an urban environment," Mr Williamson said

"As a result of this tragic event, we will learn more about earthquake strengthening for multi-storey buildings and can take steps to increase building design safety in the future."

Mr Williamson said DBH are also working to identify buildings that have any similar characteristics to the CTV building across New Zealand and will work with local councils and the building owners to address any issues.

"The CTV building combined a range of factors which are unlikely to appear in the same combination in other buildings throughout New Zealand."

For a copy of the technical investigation report into the failure of the CTV building visit:


[Scoop copy: Executive Summary: Structural performance of Christchurch CBD buildings in the 22 February 2011 earthquake (PDF)]

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