Auckland Mayor Len Brown has welcomed changes to proposed earthquake legislation.
“The changes to the proposed legislation still save lives, but will reduce the cost that was due to be imposed on Auckland property owners,” he says.
“They also show the minister has listened to the concerns of Auckland Council and other local authorities,” he adds.
“Our team made a well considered and researched submission that emphasised the low risk of earthquake to Auckland and the benefits of a better targeted approach to earthquake safety, and this appears to have paid off,” he says.
The requirement to upgrade many commercial buildings and taller residential properties remains. However, for areas considered low risk such as Auckland, the time period for building assessment has effectively been extended to 15 years and the time allowed for completing the upgrade extended to 35 years.
During this period, many of the buildings are likely to be replaced.
The changes also bring earthquake strengthening in line with other building standards such as fire safety and accessibility so that buildings subject to substantial renovations will need to be retrofitted to meet the upgraded standards.