On 9 December 2013 the Government introduced the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill. The Bill passed its first reading on 5 March 2014 and received submissions up to 17 April 2014. A report from the Local Government and Environment Committee was due prior to the 2014 election, but perhaps the complexity of the task dawned upon the committee and no report was published.

After the election the select committee was almost entirely reconstituted and the report pushed back until 30 July 2015.

TailRisk Economics made a submission on the Bill. EBSS supports the this submission which can downloaded here.

On 10 May the Minister of Building and Housing announced a new policy which will require substantial changes to the legislation and regulations. Click here to read EBSS' response.


Seismic Policy, Wellington City Council Style (part 1)

Part  one: Compliance with the law As we head towards the Appeal of the Determination on the test case, our thoughts have turned anew to the way the Wellington City Council developed their seismic strengthening  policy. When we prepared our Determination submissions we reviewed the material  received under an Official Information Act request for the Wellington City Council’s seismic policy…
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ACT Supplementary Order Papers

The Building Act (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is now before Parliament for its second reading. The member for Epsom, David Seymour, has proposed two supplementary order papers that would amend the Bill in the following respects. SOP 152 exempts all buildings in low seismic risk areas (for example Auckland,Hamilton and Dunedin) from the provisions of the Act. SOP 156 introduces an exemption based…
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Document confirms Minister’s estimate of lives saved by seismic policy was fabricated

When Nick Smith, the Minister of Building and Housing, announced his new seismic strengthening policy proposals on 10 May 2015 he said that it would save 330 lives over the next 100 years. This contrasted starkly with the estimate of 24 lives saved in MBIE’s cost benefit analysis that was prepared as part of the 2012 review of seismic strengthening…
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NZSEE’s account of international seismic standards grossly misleading

In an article in the 2 September 2015 NBR the NZSEE Chair, Quincy Ma was reported to have made the following statements on ‘earthquake-prone’ building standards. New Zealand’s proposed definition of what constitutes an earthquake-prone building is only about half the equivalent standards set in the US, Japan and Europe, says the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineers (NZSEE). NZSEE…
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Press release: Seismic policy lives saved estimate a fabrication

 “The claim by Nick Smith,Minister of Building and Housing, in a recently released Cabinet paper, that 335 lives will be saved by the new seismic strengthening policies over the next 100 years, grossly overstates the true position,” Ian Harrison Chair of  EBSS says. MBIE’s  analysis of the life safety benefits, which is based on sound scientific evidence, shows that just…
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