Mayor finds quake rules ‘par­tic­u­larly scary’

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

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.

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