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  1. michael, 25. June 2020, 10:45

    This is appalling. As Geraldine rightly points out, the government had no trouble buying back guns when they changed the law, and now they are spending over $200 million to isolate New Zealanders who made their homes overseas but have now decided to come back to avoid the virus, and who might leave again as soon as it is over. Where is the fairness (or kindness) in any of this for those who have made NZ their home and are now at risk of losing it through a law change.

  2. John, 25. June 2020, 11:29

    Sadly this issue is not new. Since 1992 buildings have been classified in terms of earthquake risk with building owners advised by issue of a Notice that strengthening would be required by a specific date. Many older buildings were converted to apartments following the issue of the Notice. It is unclear if new apartment owners were aware of the requirement AND the date that the Notice had effect. This should have been a requirement of due diligence prior to purchase. Since the 2011 Canterbury events, the cost for strengthening has escalated dramatically. And following the leaky building issues of the 90s, still ongoing, many purchasers faced remediation bills greater than the cost for the property.
    Finally the term “public” needs to be clarified – buildings collapse on to public land [roads etc]. That is what the legislation refers to, WCC are probably more enthusiastic about strengthening any building with such a perceived risk.
    The full implications of the cost of strengthening versus apartment value has yet to be resolved.

  3. Geraldine Murphy, 26. June 2020, 22:01

    Residential buildings were included in the 1991 Building Act for earthquake prone provisions. What changed with the 2004 Building Act, was the threshold effectively reduced from 50% to 34% NBS, and the building types expanded beyond unreinforced masonry and concrete to all building types. There was no engagement with affected owners such as apartment owners in 2003 as the Bill progressed, no media coverage of these changes until after the 2004 Act passed, and no data on the number of buildings, types of buildings, owners that would be impacted by the expansion of the scope of buildings included in the Cabinet paper. Poor policy development.

    The majority of owners facing these compliance burdens bought their apartments before the legislation changed in 2004 and before their buildings (and homes) were identified as potentially earthquake prone or earthquake prone.

    The ‘leaky homes’ was and continues to be a disaster. There was a Govt-funded advisory service set up, and financial support (up to 25% of costs) and a fund is still available. Nothing like this was made available to home owners in EQ prone buildings. Some leaky home owners opted not to take the Govt financial support as they could get more money by suing the various parties. This is not an option for owners in EQ-prone apartments.