Stronger Timaru Programme Underway

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Published: 01 Feb 2018

The long term programme to strengthen the built environment in Timaru District is getting underway in earnest this year.

The process, which will take place over the next few decades, involves the implementation of the Earthquake Prone Building provisions of the Building Act, and will improve the performance of buildings when the next moderate earthquake takes place.

The initial stages starting this year will see the identification and assessment of earthquake prone commercial buildings and multi-unit residences.

As part of this process people will begin to see notices posted prominently on buildings deemed ‘earthquake prone’. Building owners are legally obliged under the Building Act to display these notices until the building is brought up to a minimum of 34% of the standards required in a new building.

Timaru District Council Building Control Manager, Jayson Ellis says that these notices will become a reasonably common sight in the next few years, but people shouldn’t be too alarmed by them.

“If a building, or any part of a building, is not up to 34% of the standard required in a new building the owner of the building will have to display the notice prominently. They then have 12 ½ years for priority buildings or 25 years for non-priority building to bring the building up to this minimum standard.

“It’s important that people don’t get unduly alarmed about these notices appearing, they don’t mean the building is unsafe for daily use just that in the event of a moderate earthquake the building wouldn’t perform as well as a modern one.

“The positive outcome of this long-term process will be a stronger and more resilient built environment in our district.”

The Act requires the Council to have completed assessing and notifying building owners of what will be deemed to be within the priority category inside five years the rest within 10 years.  We anticipate completing this important task well within these time frames.

Mayor Damon Odey said that this is a long term project which will be running over the next couple of decades, so it’s important that people continue to support local businesses over that time.

“This is an issue that’s being tackled nationwide, and we accept that it will be initially alarming to people to see these notices appearing, but it’s an important step in delivering a stronger and more resilient built environment across the district.”

Council-owned buildings will be amongst the first of those identified and assessed, details of these will be released as they become available.

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  • This means the building, or part of it, is below 34% of the earthquake strength standard required in a new building.
  • The Building is not dangerous for daily use, but it, or parts of it, may not perform as well as a new building in the event of a moderate earthquake.
  • The Building Owner has 12.5 / 25 years to bring it up above the 34% mark.
  • This work will ensure a stronger built environment in Timaru District. Please support local businesses over this period.

Last updated: 24 Feb 2021