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Priority Buildings - Consultation on Thoroughfares that warrant prioritisation

Priority Buildings

Consultation on vehicular and pedestrian thoroughfares with sufficient traffic to warrant prioritisation

Consultation closes 19th July 2019, 4.30pm

Consultation Document

Reason for the Proposal

A national system for identifying, assessing and managing earthquake-prone buildings came into effect on 1 July 2017. It targets buildings or parts of buildings that pose the greatest risk to public safety and other property in a moderate earthquake.

The system categorised New Zealand into three seismic risk areas: high, medium and low. It sets timeframes, based on the seismic risk area, for identifying potentially earthquake-prone buildings and doing seismic work on buildings.

It also provides information for people using earthquake-prone buildings, such as notices identifying earthquake-prone buildings and a public register.

The new system introduced the concept of ‘priority buildings’. These are certain types of buildings in high and medium seismic risk areas that are considered to present a higher risk to life or other property because of their construction, type, use or location. Priority buildings need to be identified and remediated within half the time allowed for other buildings in the same seismic risk areas.

Certain hospital, emergency and education buildings are prioritised in the Building Act 2004 because they are likely to be needed in an emergency or regularly occupied by more than 20 people.

Other buildings, such as unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings, may be considered a priority because, in an earthquake, parts of the building could fall on to thoroughfares with high pedestrian and vehicle traffic.

Further guidance on priority buildings is available on the website of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Wairoa District has been categorised as a high seismic risk area. This means that Wairoa District Council must identify priority buildings within 2.5 years and other potentially earthquake-prone buildings within 5 years. Affected building owners will be contacted by Wairoa District Council and must strengthen or demolish priority buildings within 7.5 years and other earthquake-prone buildings within 15 years.

More information about the new system can be found at:

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment 

Why we're consulting

Your input is required to identify routes with priority buildings.

Unreinforced masonry buildings, or parts of those buildings, are considered priority buildings if they could fall on to thoroughfares with sufficient vehicle or pedestrian traffic to warrant prioritisation.

Wairoa District Council must consult the community to identify public roads, footpaths or other thoroughfares with sufficient traffic to warrant prioritisation of certain buildings and parts on those thoroughfares.   

Your views on the acceptable level of risk, our buildings, and their uses will inform Wairoa District Council’s decision on which thoroughfares to identify.  

This consultation is done in accordance with section 133AF of the Building Act 2004, which requires Wairoa District Council to use the special consultative procedure in section 83 of the Local Government Act 2002 to identify certain priority buildings.

Submission Process

The consultation document that includes this statement of proposal, and the submission form may be downloaded below or collected from the Council’s Main Office in Wairoa. 

Consultation Document

Submissions can be made online using the online form below or in writing (a submission form is included in the consultation document above).

Make a Submission

Those who make a written submission may choose to make an oral submission. Please indicate on your submission form if you wish to speak to your submission.

Hearing of oral submissions are tentatively scheduled for Tuesday 6th August at 10am.  

Period for Consultation

Written submissions on the Priority buildings - vehicular and pedestrian thoroughfares with sufficient traffic to warrant prioritisation may be made until 4.30pm Friday 19th July 2019.  

More Information

If you have any questions about this consultation or the submission process please contact either Charlotte Knight, Policy & Governance Team Leader or Jared Olsen, Senior Building Compliance Officer.

+64 6 838 7309

17 June 2019

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