Racecourse quake-safety being assessed

SELINA POWELL
Last updated 10:15 20/08/2014
Trentham race course
FAIRFAX NZ

QUAKE SAFE: The buildings at Trentham Racecourse are to be assessed to earthquake safety.

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Trentham Racecourse management are awaiting a detailed engineer's report into the status of buildings at the site.

A group of six buildings at the racecourse, including the members' stand and public grandstand, are presently on a list of potentially earthquake prone buildings held by Upper Hutt City Council.

Buildings are added to the list if an initial evaluation process indicates the building might fall below 33 per cent of the new building standard.

A building that falls below this rating following a detailed seismic assessment is considered earthquake prone.

Alasdair Robertson, chief executive of course owner RACE Incorporated, said a detailed seismic assessment of the buildings was being conducted.

Preliminary advice from the engineers was that the buildings were likely to be between 33 and 40 per cent of the new building standard.

Based on early results from the engineers, the Electoral Commission has rented part of the grandstand for use leading up to September's general election.

Wellington Racing Club was notified of the initial assessment by Upper Hutt City Council in 2011.

Robertson said buildings were checked and given the all-clear by engineers following earthquakes in July and August last year, and January this year. RACE Incorporated annual reports in 2012 and 2013 mentioned Upper Hutt City Council's assessment of the Trentham Racecourse buildings as potentially earthquake prone.

Upper Hutt City Council planning and regulatory services' director Richard Harbord said there was no legal requirement for building owners to notify people that their buildings were potentially earthquake prone on the basis of an initial assessment.

Robertson said he was confident Trentham Racecourse buildings were in excellent order and presented a safe environment for Trentham Racecourse patrons.

Final engineering results were expected within a month.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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