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More buildings cleared in review

Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction

9 December 2013

More buildings cleared in review

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson today announced more than two-thirds of the structures part of a review into buildings with non-ductile columns have been cleared or excluded.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment led review seeks to establish if there are any buildings with similar design flaws to the Canterbury Television Building, which collapsed in the February 2011 earthquake and killed 115 people.

“In total, 176 buildings have now been cleared and another 59 excluded. As previously announced, two buildings have been vacated due to a number of issues,” Maurice Williamson says.

Overview of the 342 buildings included in the review:
• In Auckland, 99 buildings have been assessed and cleared.
• In Wellington, 37 buildings have been assessed and cleared. One building has been vacated.
• In other areas (excluding Christchurch) 39 buildings have been assessed and cleared. One New Plymouth building has been vacated.
• In Christchurch, 13 buildings were originally in scope but 12 have now been deemed out of scope because they have been demolished, acquired for demolition or did not have non-ductile columns. The one building in scope has been upgraded and its previous structural issues resolved. That building is now deemed to be cleared.
• Fifty-nine buildings have been ruled out of scope as they don’t meet the review criteria - they either didn’t have non-ductile columns, weren’t consented in the timeframe non-ductile columns were allowed, were under three storeys, have been demolished or will be demolished. The number of out of scope buildings has reduced by three since October due to those buildings now being deemed in scope.

Engineering assessments are scheduled for 91 of the remaining 105 buildings.

“Disappointingly 14 building owners who initially committed to getting an engineering assessment have not followed through with booking an engineer. If this situation does not change in the next few months I will consider naming these buildings, which are all around the country.

“It’s time for these 14 building owners to step up and do the right thing, as the review is being done for reasons of public safety.

“It’s also important to highlight that just because a building has non-ductile columns it does not mean it’s unsafe. If such buildings are balanced out by other design features they pose no greater danger than other buildings. The fact so many buildings have been cleared by the review illustrates this.

“The CTV building failed catastrophically due to many more issues than just non-ductile columns, including a flawed design,” Maurice Williamson says.

ENDS

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