Earthquake Prone Building Information

From 1 July 2017 the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 took effect.  

The Act introduced a nationally consistent system for managing earthquake-prone buildings changing the way earthquake-prone buildings are identified, assessed and managed.  

Under the new system territorial authorities (councils) are responsible for identifying potentially earthquake prone building and notifying building owners, determining if a building is earthquake prone, and if so, assigning a rating (based on an engineering assessment) and issuing EPB notices to building owners.

The new system for managing earthquake-prone buildings aims to strike a balance between protecting people from harm in an earthquake, managing the costs of strengthening or removing buildings and any impact on heritage. 

Key features of the Act include:

  • Clarifying the definition of an earthquake-prone building
  • Establishing a national register of earthquake-prone buildings
  • Categorising New Zealand into three areas of high, medium and low seismic risk
  • Defining a new category of ‘priority buildings’ in high and medium seismic areas and include accelerated identification and remediation timeframes
  • Providing for an opt-in extension of time to remediate our most important heritage buildings
  • Providing for an opt-in exemption from the requirement to remediate for some buildings

Earthquake Prone Building Clarification

A building, or part of a building, is earthquake prone if it will have its ultimate capacity exceeded in a moderate earthquake, and if it were to collapse, would do so in a way that is likely to cause injury or death to persons in or near the building or on any other property, or damage to any other property.

Managing earthquake-prone buildings 

National Register of Earthquake Prone Buildings

Territorial authorities are required to publish information on buildings they have determined to be earthquake-prone in a national online register hosted by MBIE. The register is a public document.

 Register of earthquake-prone buildings 

Seismic Risk Zone

The Rangitikei District is within the High seismic risk zone

Priority Buildings Categorisation

'Priority Buildings'  is a new categorisation introduced in the national system for identifying and managing earthquake-prone buildings that came into effect on 1 July. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has produced guidance to help territorial authorities and building owners.

Priority Buildings Clarification

Earthquake Prone Building Resources

MBIE will be working with territorial authorities and building professionals over the coming months to help them with the transition to the new system and providing information for building owners.

Earthquake-prone building resources has links to the relevant Acts, regulations, engineering assessment guidelines and the EPB methodology. 

The methodology and The Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings: Technical Guidelines for Engineering Assessments are key tools to help territorial authorities and engineers identify, assess and make decisions on potentially earthquake-prone buildings.

Video - Managing Earthquake Prone Buildings System