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Potentially earthquake-prone buildings in Selwyn released

Media Release
Tuesday, 28 February

First round of potentially earthquake-prone buildings in Selwyn released

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) has sent letters to the owners of 37 Selwyn buildings after Selwyn District Council assessments indicated they are potentially earthquake-prone.

The CERA letters ask owners for independent engineering reports outlining how the buildings perform according to the current building code.

The current list of these buildings is now available on the Council website www.selwyn.govt.nz, where it will be updated as required.

The Building Act (2004) defines an earthquake-prone building as one that is at risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake, or which does not meet at least 33% of the current building code.

Building owners have to confirm within 10 days the name of the engineer they have engaged. They then have eight weeks to have the assessment carried out and to supply that report back to CERA.

Council has immediately closed and fenced off or signposted all Council buildings on that list – the Doyleston Library, the Sheffield Memorial Pool changing rooms, the Lakeside Community Memorial Hall, the Greenpark Hall, Dunsandel Hall, Glentunnel Post Office and Tai Tapu Library.

Affected commercial businesses are able to continue trading, pending consideration of their engineering assessments by CERA.

The Council’s decision to make the list available to the public would enable people to make their own choice about entering commercial buildings that would not necessarily be closed, Council Chief Executive Paul Davey says.

“Being earthquake-prone does not mean these buildings will fall down in the next shake. We’re closing our community buildings as a precautionary measure until we have further engineering reports and decide on plans of action for these buildings,” Mr Davey says.

“It may well be that independent reports commissioned by owners show that some of these buildings actually meet the 33% or above of the building code.”

The Council had met affected commercial building owners and tenants to talk about what assistance might be available and discuss ideas about how to deal with potential closure.

“We will endeavour to keep the public informed around this whole issue.”

Where people have particular concerns about heritage buildings, they should contact the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, phone 03 477 9871.


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