Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy

The Council's Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy requires that buildings assessed as earthquake prone (or less than one-third of new building standard) are upgraded or demolished within a certain timeframe.

Wellington City Gallery.

Wellington City Gallery has been strengthened

The policy outlines:

  • how earthquake-prone buildings are identified
  • the time frames property owners are given to either strengthen or demolish the building.

It applies to all building types except residential, unless the residential building is two or more storeys high and contains three or more household units.

Under the policy, the Council can negotiate and reach agreement with building owners to target particular areas of concern or to strengthen it over an agreed timeframe.

It also allows building owners with more than two earthquake-prone buildings to negotiate time frames for strengthening buildings.

The policy is designed to make sure that public and commercial buildings, and certain multi-storey residential buildings, meet the building performance standards required by the Building Act 2004.

Buildings not affected by the policy

Buildings used for residential purposes are generally excluded from the scope of the Council's Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy unless they are two or more storeys high and contain three or more household units. This means the policy doesn't apply to most of the city's houses, but it might affect apartments or blocks of flats.

Council engineers will assess buildings around Wellington in an area-by-area basis. Once a building has been assessed, the owners will be advised whether the building is earthquake-prone. Buildings constructed after 1976 are unlikely to be earthquake-prone and the Council is not assessing these buildings.

This information will also be included in a Land Information Memorandum (LIM) property report.