The Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 and how it affects buildings after the commencement date which will be no later than 13 May 2018.

Main changes

  • Territorial authorities (councils) are no longer required to have individual policies for earthquake-prone buildings
  • There will be a centralised national register for all earthquake-prone buildings in New Zealand. This means individual councils no longer need to have a register
  • The country is divided into three seismic risk areas – high, medium and low. Christchurch is in the high seismic risk area
  • A category of priority buildings is identified which require urgent strengthening. Examples of priority buildings include:
    • Hospitals and other buildings used by emergency services
    • Buildings likely to be needed in an emergency as an emergency shelter/centre
    • Education buildings occupied by at least 20 people (including early childhood centres, schools, private training and tertiary institutes)

What these rules mean for priority buildings in Christchurch

Because Christchurch is a high seismic risk area, owners must assess priority buildings within two years and six months.

If the Council issues an earthquake-prone building notice, the owner has to complete remedial work within seven years and six months.

What these rules mean for other buildings in Christchurch

Building owners must do an assessment within five years of the rules coming into force. If the Council issues an earthquake-prone building notice, remedial work must be completed within 15 years.

The Council will issue a new notice for buildings that have been identified as being earthquake-prone and with an existing notice. The deadlines in the new Act will apply.

Further information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Managing earthquake-prone buildings(external link).