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Earthquake-prone buildings – consultation on change

Media release

7 December 2012

Earthquake-prone buildings – consultation on change proposals

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is seeking comments from the public and technical experts on proposals to improve the earthquake-prone buildings policy system.

The proposals, set out in the MBIE consultation document Building Seismic Performance (see www.dbh.govt.nz/consultingon-epbp) were prepared to enable a timely Government response to the recommendations of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission covering earthquake-prone building policy (Volume 4, Final Report).

The proposals set out a consistent national approach for dealing with earthquake-prone buildings. In essence, the proposals require:
• all non-residential and multi-unit, multi-storey residential buildings to have a seismic capacity assessment within five years of the changes taking effect, and this information to be made publicly available on a register
• all earthquake-prone buildings be strengthened, or demolished, within 15 years of the changes taking effect (up to five years for local authorities to complete seismic capacity assessments, followed by 10 years for owners to strengthen or demolish buildings), compared to an estimated 28 years (on average) under the current system
The consultation begins today and runs until 5pm on Friday 8 March. MBIE encourages submitters to use the online response form www.dbh.govt.nz/consultingon-epbp. Written submissions will also be accepted, using the feedback form appended to the consultation document online version. Submissions on some or all of the questions are welcome.
To help people understand the current system and proposed changes, MBIE is also preparing a DVD and will run public information meetings during February. Details of the meetings are to be confirmed, although the schedule will be published at www.dbh.govt.nz/consultingon-epbp-public-meetings. This page will be regularly updated.

The meetings will comprise a short presentation on the proposals, followed by questions and answers. They will be publicised through online and newspaper advertising. Meetings will also be arranged with stakeholder groups directly involved with implementing the earthquake-prone building system.
Copies of the DVD will be made available to communities and other groups on request.

MBIE wants to hear views from the wider community about the proposals. It also wants to hear from people directly involved with the earthquake-prone building system, to draw on their practical knowledge and experience in order to fully understand any implementation issues.
More information on the earthquake-prone buildings policy review and consultation is available at www.dbh.govt.nz.


ends

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