Nervous wait ahead for Wellington building owners

Nervous wait ahead for Wellington building owners

Wellington Central Library was recently closed due to structural concerns PHOTO: Adam Blackwell

Wellington building owners will be notified by December this year if their building is considered a priority building.

Priority buildings have seven and a half years to be compliant with earthquake strengthening regulations rather than 15 years.

The Wellington City Council city strategy committee approved the move yesterday. Councillor Iona Pannett was the only one to oppose.

“We need to manage the risks appropriately; we are an earthquake-prone city but we live with lots of other risks,” she said.

Wellington has been identified as a high earthquake risk region and the Building Amendment Act 2016 requires the council to identify high priority buildings.

A building may be identified as a priority building if it is on a high traffic route, an emergency transport route, or an educational facility or hospital emergency building.

Councillor Andy Foster said due to the dense and commercial nature of the inner city, the city itself might be at risk after a major earthquake.

“It’s not just about the risk of dying in an earthquake, it’s the risk of the city dying as well.”

The council had the option to make amendments to the routes recommended that were recommended in the report but this rejected. Only Councillors Pannett and Foster voted for the amendment.

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Article by Adam Blackwell

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