Addressing Council’s Earthquake-prone Buildings
The Hurunui District Council has been identifying its earthquake-prone buildings and deciding how each building’s vulnerability will be managed.
Under a new national system for earthquake-prone buildings*, 12 council-owned buildings have been identified as potentially earthquake-prone and a further 17 were assessed to be earthquake-prone. These buildings include community halls, historic buildings, commercial premises, council depots, public toilets and sports rooms.
Some council buildings are already on a programme of repair and strengthening, however, for community driven buildings (such as community halls) the council wishes to have a conversation with the community about their future use and strengthening options before any decisions are made.
The council buildings already on a programme of repair have been funded by a combination of insurance money and Lotteries funding. Moving forward, a district-wide rate (implemented last year) will go towards future work. This rate will need to be assisted by external funding, as the council wished to keep the district-wide rate burden for this as low as possible.
Chief Strategy and Community Officer Judith Batchelor said council carefully considered how to address its earthquake-prone buildings. “Many of these buildings are very important to their communities and we want those communities to be involved in shaping the outcome” she said. “Addressing 29 earthquake-prone buildings is going to be expensive, but its necessary under the Building Amendment Act and will improve the district’s resilience and safety”
*A new national system for the identification, assessment and management of earthquake-prone buildings came into effect in 2017 (Earthquake-prone Buildings, within the Building Amendment Act 2016). The system focuses on the most vulnerable buildings, in terms of public safety.
For further information:
Chief Strategy and Community Officer