Earthquake Prone Buildings

Make sure your work doesn't tumble down

“Did you feel that little rumble?” Freddy asked Pebbles, referring to the earthquake which had just woken him up from his afternoon nap.

“Sure did Dad,” replied Pebbles.  “They always get my heart racing a bit.”

“I was in the woolshed when the last little earthquake hit.  It didn’t half rattle the rafters in that place,” laughed Freddy. “I wouldn’t want to be in there when the ‘Big One’ hits.”

“That reminds me, Dad,” said Pebbles.  “Have you heard about the proposed changes to the way earthquake-prone farm buildings are to be managed?

“No I haven’t actually,” replied Freddy.  “That’s why I have a lawyer for a daughter - to keep me in the loop.”

“Well Dad, the Government introduced the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill into Parliament at the end of last year.  The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Building Act to improve the system for managing earthquake prone buildings.

“Under the proposed amendments, local authorities will have to complete a seismic assessment of all non-residential buildings within five years of the legislative amendments taking effect and building owners will then have another 15 years to strengthen or demolish the building.”

“How is this likely to affect me?” asked Freddy, suddenly concerned he might be parting with some of his hard earned cash. 

“Farm buildings will fall within the scope of buildings to be assessed by local authorities,” continued Pebbles, “and while there is a chance some farm buildings might be eligible for an exemption, that is only likely to apply to buildings where the effects of them falling are likely to be minimal,” Pebbles explained. 

“I’m not sure your big woolshed is going to fall within that exemption, given how busy that place can get with all the shearers in there during the summer.”

“How much is it likely to cost me?” asked Freddy.

“I’m not really sure Dad, but you may need to factor in the cost of strengthening versus the cost of building a new, fully compliant structure.

“You’ll also need to bear in mind that in some cases it may not be possible to get full replacement insurance cover for buildings that are less than 67% of the Building Code.“

 “Thanks for that Pebbles.  I trust you’ll keep me updated once the legislation is passed.”

“Sure will, Dad.”

The content of this document is necessarily general and readers should seek specific advice on particular matters and not rely solely on this document. 

If you would like more information on any of the topics in this document, please contact your usual Auld Brewer Mazengarb & McEwen adviser. 


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