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Earthquakes Royal Commission report released

Hon Christopher Finlayson
Hon Maurice Williamson
Minister for Building and Construction

23 August 2012 Media Statement
Earthquakes Royal Commission report released

Attorney-General Chris Finlayson and Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson have thanked the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission for its findings and recommendations outlined in the first part of its final report, released today.

The recommendations focus on a range of technical engineering issues including seismicity, recommendations to change concrete structures, structural steel and earthquake actions standards, providing guidance or training to structural engineers and low-damage building technologies.

Mr Williamson says the recommendations in Volumes 1-3 of the report, issued today, will influence future design and construction practice in Canterbury and throughout New Zealand.

“The Government has accepted all the findings in the first part of the report and its 70 recommendations,” he says.

“The Commission has identified a need for further research with the objective of incremental improvement, rather than a change in direction, and concludes ‘the necessary improvements can be incorporated within the framework of the present rules’.

“There is already a comprehensive programme of work underway to address recommendations coming from earlier technical investigations and the Expert Panel who reviewed the collapse of Christchurch buildings during the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

“The Royal Commission’s recommendations generally align with the recommendations made by the Expert Panel. Some have already been implemented while others are being worked on or are planned for in the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Building and Housing Group’s three-year work programme,” Mr Williamson says.

“The Ministry will now review its current programme to address other areas identified by the Commission, including amendments to the Building Code that will further improve the performance of commercial buildings in severe earthquakes.”

Mr Finlayson says the first part of the report (Volumes 1-3) released today will inform the redevelopment of the Christchurch CBD and help ensure confidence in the region’s future.

“The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission terms of reference allow a staged approach to delivery of its final report. Further volumes, including those covering earthquake-prone building policy, will be delivered in the next few months.”

The subsequent volumes of the final report will be completed by 12 November 2012, with the exact timing of delivery to be determined by the Royal Commission

Mr Finlayson says the Government expects to issue a full and comprehensive response to the Royal Commission’s complete findings in early 2013.

For a copy of report visit (please note this link will not be live till 2.00pm):

Background material Royal Commission pdf


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