Seismic strengthening for heritage buildings

Find out what an earthquake-prone heritage building is, what to do if you own one, and what support exists to make sure that Wellington’s unique heritage is preserved.

The Supreme Court Buildings in Wellington City.
Supreme Court area

Earthquake-prone heritage buildings

Buildings or parts of buildings that achieve below 34% of the new building standard (NBS) have a higher chance of causing damage or injury in an earthquake. They are considered earthquake-prone.

As of 2022, there were about 600 earthquake-prone buildings in Wellington. They are listed on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) register of earthquake-prone buildings (EPB).

About 20% of the earthquake-prone buildings in Wellington are listed in the District Plan as a heritage building, or as part of a heritage area.

The Resilient Buildings Team manages the earthquake-prone buildings in Wellington, including those listed as heritage on the District Plan. Find out more about their work and earthquake-prone buildings in general.

Guide to seismic strengthening for heritage building owners

New Zealand sits on the Ring of Fire, and Wellington has a long history of earthquakes. Our building construction has changed and evolved based on what we’ve learned about how buildings respond to earthquakes.

This guide is for owners of earthquake-prone heritage buildings, and acknowledges those who have worked over the past decades to strengthen their buildings.

This guide is in draft as we seek feedback on its contents from engineering and heritage sector experts. If you have any feedback on the draft, please send this to:

Guide to Seismic Strengthening for Heritage Building Owners (1.9MB PDF)

Heritage Resilience and Regeneration Fund

Wellington City Council will continue to support heritage earthquake-prone buildings owners through the Heritage Resilience and Regeneration Fund.

Contact us

Heritage team

Phone: 04 499 4444