A new national system for managing earthquake-prone buildings in New Zealand came into effect on 1 July 2017. The new system affects owners of earthquake-prone buildings, territorial authorities (local councils), engineers, other building professionals and building users. We encourage you to read what the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) says on its website and watch the useful introductory video below from MBIE. Further down this page you'll find an update on where our Council is at in this process.
Managing Earthquake Prone Buildings - where is CODC at?
Council wishes to provide you with information related to the topic of Earthquake Prone buildings and update you on where we are at in the process.
The national Earthquake Prone Buildings System looks at the levels of risk in terms of public safety against three criteria based on a building's construction type, use or location.
Those criteria are:
- unreinforced masonry building,
- pre-1976 buildings that are three or more storeys in height, and
- pre-1935 buildings that are one or two storeys in height.
The Building Act sets out a legal risk framework and timeframe in which council's as territorial authorities need to identify buildings that need strengthening work to ensure they are safe should they be subject to a moderate earthquake.
Buildings are given percentage ratings in terms of the New Building Standard (NBS), and depending on that rating might be defined as having an earthquake risk or being earthquake prone. Buildings that have been assessed by an engineer as less than 34% NBS are defined as 'earthquake prone'.
Central Otago district has been categorised as in a 'medium seismic risk area'. As such we have until July 2022 to assess what buildings in our district are earthquake prone and advise building owners. At this time notices on the buildings are required.
After being notified building owners still have 12½ years after that for 'priority' buildings such as those with a post-disaster function and 25 years for other buildings to undertake remedial work and bring their buildings up to standard.
Council itself owns a number of buildings across the district, and that is a responsibility that we take seriously. We have already assessed all of our buildings to various levels and have identified some buildings as 'earthquake prone'.
They are listed below:
|Cromwell Memorial Hall||Cromwell|
|Tarras Memorial Hall||Cromwell|
|Ranfurly Service Centre||District|
|Naseby General Store||Maniototo|
|Maniototo Park Stadium||Maniototo|
|Naseby Town Hall||Maniototo|
|Alexandra Community Centre (Hall)||Vincent|
|Clyde Railway Station||Vincent|
|Clyde Briar and Herb Museum (Buildings 1-7)||Vincent|
Staff are currently working on a risk framework for Council-owned buildings to be reviewed by the Council in the near future. That will help your councillors determine their risk comfort levels with the buildings and that we have the appropriate levels of risk in terms of their use as community facilities. It will also assist to determine a prioritised programme of work to be undertaken. Once Council has adopted this framework we will provide the community with further updates on our next steps.
Your Council is being proactive and making progress on this well ahead of when we need to by legislation. We are, as always, looking out for the best interests and safety of our community.