Appeal to change placard colours

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 05:00 13/12/2012

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker has backed calls to change "misleading" green post-earthquake inspection placards.

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission this week recommended a colour change from green to white for the placards, which were part of an internationally recognised system used in post-quake building checks.

The placards were the result of rapid, damaged-based checks and advised building owners to seek a more detailed assessment.

Parker said he was pleased the system was being reviewed because green placards had misled people about building safety.

"If you saw a green placard on a building and you read it, you might go, ‘It's green, everything is OK'," he said.

The green placard sent a message that Parker said he was "constantly having to correct".

"That's not a good tool if you have to spend all of your time explaining to people why it is that this is not the ultimate assessment," he said.

"‘It's a rapid guide and I think people read a lot more into it than should have been read into it."

The Canterbury quakes were the first time the system had been used in a "major event", Parker said.

"In a sense, some of the shortcomings that we have determined since that time around the expectation, even the use of green paper, will lead no doubt to changes."

The commission recommended the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment consult with the international building-safety evaluation community before deciding on changes.

City council resource consents and building policy manager Steve McCarthy said council engineers were in "close contact" with their counterparts in the United States, where the system was developed.

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