Since 1 July 2017, Ashburton District Council has been required to implement the Buildings (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016.
Under the Act, Ashburton District has been classified as a medium risk zone. This provides Council with 10 years to identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings, one year for building owners to provide an engineer's assessment and then 25 years to strengthen the building.
According to Council Building Services Manager Michael Wong, decisions made around earthquake-prone buildings in the district before the new Act came into force still stand. This means owners of buildings identified as earthquake-prone prior to July still have 10 years to fix their buildings, as this was a local requirement before the introduction of the new legislation. "People have asked if they can have the 25 year timeframe but the new Act stipulates that we need to stick with our original decisions."
As of 1 July, Council has identified 89 properties containing earthquake-prone buildings and 67 properties with buildings that were built prior to 1976 which will require an engineering assessment. A total of 167 properties have been assessed as having buildings that are not earthquake-prone.
"The new Act aims to ensure that buildings are managed consistently across the country and means that more information will be available for people using buildings, such as notices on earthquake-prone buildings and a public register," Mr Wong said.
"Before we place stickers on earthquake-prone buildings, we will be notifying owners to explain what the stickers mean and the actions they will need to take."