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Maurice Williamson

19 February, 2013

Earthquake-prone buildings meeting tonight in Christchurch

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson says a public meeting on proposals for changing the earthquake-prone building policy system will be held in Christchurch this evening.

“The destruction caused by the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 led to questions about the system for dealing with earthquake-prone buildings across the country. As a result, proposals for a consistent national approach to dealing with these buildings are now out for consultation.”

If adopted, all such buildings would be dealt with within 15 years, compared with an average of 28 years currently.

“The proposals take account of recommendations made by the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission. They try to strike an acceptable balance between the risks posed by buildings in earthquakes and the costs of strengthening or demolishing them.

"I want to stress no decisions have been made and that feedback from experts and the public is vital, as building safety is an issue that affects us all. I will be at tonight’s meeting and want to hear what the public thinks,” Mr Williamson says.

Many of Canterbury’s older, unreinforced masonry buildings were destroyed or badly damaged in the earthquakes. The Canterbury Earthquakes Recovery Authority is overseeing detailed engineering evaluations of more than 10,000 commercial buildings in Christchurch, Selwyn and Waimakariri, to check the safety of the structures.

Tonight’s public meeting, the fourth of seven to be held around the country, is at Templin Hall, Canterbury Horticultural Centre, 57 Riccarton Avenue, starting from 6 o’clock.

The consultation document, details of public meetings, explanatory video and online response form can be found at: http://www.dbh.govt.nz/consultingon-epbp

  • Maurice Williamson
  • Building and Construction