Horowhenua mayor publicly releases two self-funded building reports

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen released two self-funded council building inspection reports.
DAVID UNWIN/STUFF

Horowhenua mayor Michael Feyen released two self-funded council building inspection reports.

Horowhenua's mayor has publicly released two self-funded building reports in the hope residents will make their own decisions about the safety of the district council building.

Mayor Michael Feyen has previously questioned the Horowhenua District Council building's safety in the event of an earthquake, despite two previous reports, from 2014 and 2016, determining the Levin building as safe for occupancy.

Feyen released an independently-funded report by Structural Concepts to Stuff in March.

Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton says releasing the building reports was well overdue.
WARWICK SMITH/STUFF

Horowhenua District Council chief executive David Clapperton says releasing the building reports was well overdue.

But he decided to release the same report to a public website this month, saying he wanted more transparency at the council. He has also released a report by Koru VSL, from November last year.

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"It's just to show that we are not banging on for nothing," Feyen said.

He said many people were asking about the reports and it would not hurt anyone to make them public.

The two previous reports, prepared by Opus and ISPS Consulting on behalf of the district council, determined the building was safe.

The building is declared fit to be occupied in the Structural Concepts report, but it points out "potential structural vulnerabilities", including concerns about the roof.

The report also mentions "unconsolidated to poorly consolidated mud, sand, gravel and peat" at the site the building stands on.

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Feyen said there was no getting away from the fact the building needed repairs.

"We really do not know what we are up for with remedial work."

Since the Structural Concepts report was completed, Feyen has wanted the council to take action. He said he was not ruling out asking the council to reimburse him the report's cost.

District council chief executive David Clapperton said two engineering firms had confirmed the building was not earthquake prone, and the council resolved in November last year that it would not invest further ratepayer resources into the matter.

No further action was required other than maintaining the building as would occur with any council asset, Clapperton said. 

He said the public release of the Koru VSL report was long overdue. 

Clapperton said he had asked Opus to meet with Structural Concepts to work through any differences in their reports.

However, Clapperton said Feyen did not want Structural Concepts to carry out further review work with Opus. 

Feyen said he was waiting for a recommendation on the matter from the Department of Internal Affairs.

A department spokeswoman said it was working with the parties to help them reach a resolution.

The Structural Concepts report can be found here, and the Koru VSL report here. The OPUS and ISPS reports can be found here.

 - Stuff

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