Options to be offered on building rules

Rangitikei District Council will offer alternatives to dealing with rural earthquake-prone buildings when it makes its submission to the Government next month.

Concerns were raised about the implications of the earthquake-prone buildings amendment bill before Parliament during yesterday's policy and planning committee meeting in Marton.

In its submission, the district council will likely question the need for a "one size fits all" approach to earthquake strengthening.

It will also ask the Government to be clearer about the practical impact of the bill.

Mayor Andy Watson said there needed to be a consistent method of assessing buildings throughout the country, which would be hard to achieve with limited expertise called on in a short amount of time.

He said councils could be made responsible for which buildings were a priority.

"It's fine dealing with this clinically but there should be a part of this submission that says ‘this is the effect on the district'," he said.

The general feeling was that rural towns needed to be dealt with differently to cities.

Community services group manager Michael Hodder said the law needed to consider the changing nature of rural towns.

The council has until April 17 to make its submission.

A draft version will be prepared and discussed at the policy and planning committee's April 10 meeting.

Manawatu Standard