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Quake Strengthening Costs Too Much for Building Owners

Andrew Williams MP
Spokesperson for Building & Construction
8 May 2014

Quake Strengthening Costs Too Much for Building Owners

New Zealand First is calling for some relief for building owners and farmers who face massive costs under the proposed new law for earthquake strengthening.

“Main streets of New Zealand will be on the verge of becoming ghost towns if building owners do not get some support for strengthening work as required under theBuilding (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill now before Parliament,” says New Zealand First Spokesperson on Building and Construction Andrew Williams.

“Owners will be crippled with the cost, and towns may go into decline if owners walk away. We are calling on the Government to consider some form of tax relief or compensation subsidy.

“As with the leaky homes rebuilding, the government will take significant taxes, through GST, income tax and company tax, from this earthquake remediation work. Some of this needs to go back to those caught up in this strengthening exercise to help offset the costs.

“Farmers should be free from any requirement, and should not be required to file papers to gain an exemption. This would have the added benefit of reducing some of the workload from local councils who would handle the exemptions.

“Many building owners in provincial New Zealand will not have the money to pay for strengthening.

“Surely a lesser amount of work could be done in some places, such as removing weak facades and any overhangs. Importantly, the earthquake risk in each locality should be considered instead of pushing the same requirement on every town,” says Mr Williams.

ENDS

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