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Split views on new quake rules

New quake strengthening rules a "massive victory," says Property Council.
 
Chris Hutching discusses the new earthquake rules on NBR Radio and on demand on MyNBR Radio.

Chris Hutching
Mon, 11 May 2015

The Property Council claims a government u-turn on earthquake strengthening is a “massive victory.”

However, it’s not a view shared by all its members or survivors of Canterbury’s earthquakes.

Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith has reduced the number of buildings requiring assessment from an estimated 500,000 to 30,000.

Owners will also have more time to carry out strengthening in many areas.

Wellington investor Ian Cassels says property owners should just be told to get on with it as quickly as possible.

A survivor of one of the Christchurch earthquakes, Ann Brower, says the moves are disappointing.

She was the only survivor when masonry fell on a bus in the central city.

But Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend says businesses can’t afford the extremely high costs associated with strengthening.

Lobby group BusinessNZ has also welcomed the rule changes.

According to BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O’Reilly, “Moving from a one-size-fits-all approach, to a risk-based approach is sensible.

“While all commercial building owners will wish to ensure their buildings’ safety and stability, this is best achieved with regard to the actual earthquake risk in differing areas.”

Chris Hutching
Mon, 11 May 2015
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Split views on new quake rules
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