Mayor finds quake rules ‘particularly scary’
South Waikato Mayor Neil Sinclair believes the earthquakeprone building regulations is a ‘‘one-size fits all’’ proposal.
‘‘This becomes, for me, particularly scary,’’ he said.
‘‘[It] really does look at putting additional costs, potentially on us,’’ Mr Sinclair said.
Under the new regulations local authorities will be required to carry out a seismic capacity assessment of all non-residential and multi-unit, multi-storey residential buildings in their district within five years of the legislation taking affect using a standard methodology developed by central Government.
He said all buildings will be strengthened to no longer be earthquake prone or be demolished within 15 years of legislation taking affect, up to five years for local authority to complete capacity rating followed by 10 years for the owners to strengthen or demolish the building.
‘‘Only the buildings assessed as earthquake prone will have to submit a plan for strengthening or demolishing within 12 months. And so that would mean that we would have to assess every one of those buildings, that means every commercial building in Putaruru, Arapuni, Tirau and Tokoroa and we actually have five years to finish off that assessment.’’
Once buildings are assessed, the owners have to deliver a plan within 12 months showing what they are going to do.
Mr Sinclair said there will likely be an increase in rental fees.
‘‘The cost of actually strengthening them means often the landlords can’t afford . . . everybody is therefore very scared that these people will up and walk away and have even more empty buildings in so many of the rural towns.’’
He added that ratepayers across the country will be hit hard.
‘‘Each building will have to have an engineer assessor and they are saying for a single-storey building will have to be up in the air of $1250 and the comment was who would get an engineer out for $1250?’’
The consultative period ended on March 8.