Earthquake-prone building notices explained

These notices indicate the building has been assessed as being earthquake-prone under the Council's Earthquake-prone Building Policy 2009.

New earthquake-prone building notices

From 1 July 2017, there is a nationally consistent approach to the assessment and management of earthquake-prone buildings. All existing notices will be replaced by standardised national notices. This process will take some time and until then the existing notices will need to be displayed. There will also be a national public register of earthquake-prone buildings.

There are three types of notice: yellow, orange, red. These notices were all issued under the Building Act 2004 and the Council’s Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy prior to 1 July 2017.

Building owners must display this notice in a visible location on the relevant building. This is to let people accessing and using the building know the building is earthquake prone, ie may incur damage in an earthquake. 

The colour of the notice is not an indication of the buildings strength against the New Building Standard (NBS).

Example of yellow earthquake-prone building notice.

Yellow notice

This is a standard Earthquake-prone Building Notice for general buildings. It means the building has been assessed, is earthquake-prone and the owner has typically 15 years to strengthen or demolish the building.

Example of an orange earthquake-prone building notice.

Orange notice

An orange Final Earthquake-prone Building Notice is issued where a building owner has failed to comply with the original yellow section notice. The owner has, however, contacted the Council and has been able to show solid progress towards reaching a solution.

This notice is a final reminder and has a fixed timeframe. When orange notices are issued, the Council works with the building owner to agree on a series of actions the building owner will take at agreed dates. If the owner fails to meet these requirements, they are issued with a Red Notice.

Example of the first part of a red earthquake-prone building notice.

Part one of a red notice.


Red notice

A red notice consists of two parts:

  • The first part prohibits anyone from using or occupying the building.
  • The second part advises the final date by when the owner must have strengthened or demolished the building.
Example of the second part of a red earthquake-prone building notice.

Part two of a red notice.


If an owner fails to comply with this notice, the Council will consider further action which may include legal action to force strengthening or demolishing the building.