Smalls towns top pri­or­ity for quake re­views

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - SAM KILMISTER

Small towns on Ran­gitı¯kei’s ar­te­rial route will get first dibs when of­fi­cials in­spect earth­quake-prone build­ings.

Bulls, Mar­ton, Hun­ter­ville and Tai­hape will be the first in the district to un­dergo in­spec­tion by coun­cil en­gi­neers, ac­cord­ing to a Ran­gitı¯kei District Coun­cil pro­posal. Sub­mis­sions on the pro­posal closed on Septem­ber 7 af­ter the coun­cil asked the com­mu­nity if it had cor­rectly iden­ti­fied the ‘‘pri­or­ity ar­eas’’ for earth­quake risk as­sess­ment.

The Gov­ern­ment took con­trol of earth­quake-prone build­ing reg­u­la­tion last year, pass­ing leg­is­la­tion that com­pels build­ing own­ers to fix or de­mol­ish dan­ger­ous struc­tures within set time­frames.

How­ever, lo­cal coun­cils are re­quired to per­form the as­sess­ments of build­ings in their re­gion.

Earth­quake-prone build­ings are those con­sid­ered to be in dan­ger of sus­tain­ing se­ri­ous dam­age in mod­er­ate or large earth­quakes, ac­cord­ing to the coun­cil’s Ran­gitı¯kei Line news­let­ter.

The coun­cil de­cided to in­spect towns with the most pedes­trian and ve­hi­cle traf­fic first. ‘‘Coun­cil is sug­gest­ing that build­ings in these ar­eas be given pri­or­ity for check­ing,’’ the Ran­gitı¯kei Line said.

Build­ings con­sid­ered to be a risk will be iden­ti­fied within two and a half years. If de­ter­mined a risk, own­ers will re­ceive a no­tice from the coun­cil and have sev­e­nand-a-half years to fix or de­mol­ish their build­ing.

‘‘Let’s work to­gether to make the district’s build­ings as safe as pos­si­ble and to re­tain as much of our his­toric ar­chi­tec­ture as we can,’’ the news­let­ter said.

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