Earthquake-prone Buildings

29 January 2013

Wellingtonians are invited to a meeting on Tuesday 5 February to discuss changes proposed by the Government for how New Zealand deals with earthquake-prone buildings.

The meeting, organised by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment in conjunction with the City Council, will outline the Government's proposed nationwide approach to dealing with such buildings. At the moment, councils make their own decisions on how earthquake-prone buildings should be dealt with, in consultation with their communities.

The Government's proposed approach would require all non-residential and multi-unit, multi-storey residential buildings to have seismic capacity assessments done within five years. Owners of buildings identified as earthquake-prone would then have up to 10 years to strengthen or demolish them.

This would mean that all earthquake-prone buildings would be dealt with within  a maximum of 15 years compared with the national average of 28 years under the present system.

Our existing policy would see all at-risk buildings in Wellington dealt with within 20 years and high priority buildings strengthened within 10 years.

The public consultation on the Government's proposed changes closes on Friday 8 March.

To read the consultation document and make a submission online, visit:

Consultation on Earthquake-prone Building Policy - Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website

The 5 February meeting, starting at 7.00pm, will be in the Michael Fowler Centre.