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Earthquake prone buildings

Tauranga’s Earthquake-Prone Building Policy was adopted in March 2006. It focuses on buildings that were built before 1976 that have 33% or less of the strength current Building Code standards.

The policy affects all types of commercial or public buildings, and residential properties that have two or more stories and contain three or more household units. Buildings that are mainly used for residential purposes are not affected by the policy. Buildings built after 1976 are unlikely to be earthquake-prone. 

The initial evaluations were started in the city centre due to the number of older buildings and high public occupancy. Evaluation priority is determined by:

  • a building’s importance, e.g. whether it has a post-disaster function or has a high occupancy
  • its age and condition relative to the code to which it was built or previously strengthened

Buying or selling an earthquake-prone building

The new owner becomes responsible for the seismic strengthening. It’s recommended that purchasers carry out independent investigations prior to purchasing a property that is likely to be earthquake-prone.

If you need to find out whether a building is earthquake-prone before the Council has done an Initial Evaluation Process (IEP) you can approach an engineer to undertake an independent IEP at your own cost. This will give you a guide as to the strength of the building. We maintain the right to review these findings.

You can approach an engineer to undertake an independent IEP (at your own cost). This will give you a guide as to the strength of the building. The Council maintains the right to review these findings.

Alterations to an earthquake-prone buildings

If we receive a building consent application for upgrading or alteration of a building which is confirmed as being earthquake-prone, the building will need to be strengthened to comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the current Building Code.

If you are changing the use of the building, we must be satisfied with the structural and seismic performance of a when considering the intended change of use. If we are not satisfied the building will need to be strengthened to comply as nearly as is reasonably practicable with the current Building Code.

Section 133AT on alterations to earthquake prone buildings comes into effect 13 May 2018.

Disagreeing with earthquake-prone classification

If you disagree with our classification of your building as earthquake-prone, you can provide an engineer’s report in challenge of the IEP. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment will then make a final, binding determination on whether your building is earthquake-prone. 

The policy affects all types of commercial or public buildings, and residential properties that have two or more stories and contain three or more household units. Buildings that are mainly used for residential purposes are not affected by the policy. Buildings built after 1976 are unlikely to be earthquake-prone. 

Dangerous, earthquake-prone and insanitary buildings policy (35kb pdf)

Earthquake-prone buildings register

The buildings on the register have been confirmed as earthquake-prone.  The online register is updated regularly to reflect any strengthening works undertaken by building owners or any buildings newly classified as earthquake- prone.

NB: The confirmed Earthquake-Prone Building Register is currently being updated. 


Last Reviewed: 22/05/2017
 
 

 
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