Smalls towns top priority for quake reviews
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.