OPINION: The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment estimates there could be 25,000 buildings in New Zealand that will fall below the 34 per cent of new building standard (NBS) and therefore be classified as earthquake prone.
The proposed amendment to the Building Act currently before Parliament, once enacted later this year, will require that local councils within five years identify and put on a national register those buildings determined to be earthquake prone.
The owners of these buildings then have a further 15 years to bring these up to at least 34 per cent of NBS or demolish them.
Heritage buildings may be granted a further 10 year extension to comply, possibly even more.
So why is the Invercargill City Council over-reacting and closing Anderson Park because it falls below 34 per cent NBS?
The intent of the legislation is to give building owners (ICC included) reasonable time frames to sensibly and economically deal with this major issue.
That is generally 20 years or 30 years in the case of heritage buildings.
I respectfully suggest all city councillors and appropriate senior staff read the MBIE Cabinet paper which is the precursor to the proposed legislation and act accordingly.
Anderson Park is in no more danger of collapse today than when constructed circa 1925.
The risk has not changed.
Put away the scaffold fence, the high visibility vests and yellow hard hats and get on with life.
Ironically this council has gone from a passive do nothing approach to a complete over-reaction on earthquake prone buildings.