In accordance to the Building Act 2004, section 124 and Council's Earthquake Prone Policy 2011, Council will be carrying out a series of seismic assessments. Council will start assessments on buildings built pre-1976 and priority buildings. A priority building being buildings with a high importance level (NZS1170) such as buildings that serve a post disaster function, schools and hospitals. These assessments are carried out by qualified CPeng engineers contracted by Council.
After a building has been assessed, we'll notify the building owner and affected parties of the outcome. The results will be disclosed in LIM (Land Information Memorandum) reports and recorded in the buildings file held by Council.
Buildings that won't be affected by the policy
Buildings that are used wholly or mainly for residential purposes unless the building:
- comprises of 2 or more storeys and
- contains 3 or more units.
For further information and enquiries please contact the Seismic Assessment Officer on 04 570 6713 or email@example.com
If you’re planning earthquake strengthening work, you’ll probably need a building consent, and maybe a resource consent too.
We can help you with information on:
Remember – we’re here to help. So if you need information or advice, just get in touch.
After an earthquake
Find out what building owners need to do once an earthquake has occurred. You can also check out our FAQs.
Earthquake-prone Building Policy
For detailed information, please read our Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy (PDF 324 kb).
Earthquake strengthening a multi-residential, industrial or commercial building
If your building has been classified as earthquake-prone, the deadline for strengthening it depends on the date of the classification and the priority status of your building.
For a full register of our Earthquake-prone Buildings, please see Register of Earthquake-prone Buildings (PDF 97 kb).
If you apply for a building consent for anything other than very minor work, you’ll be required to strengthen your building as part of the consent. For more detail, read our Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy (PDF 324 kb).
Read about your legal obligations (PDF 18 kb).
Is it a heritage building?
If your building is a heritage building, we may be able to help with some of the costs of earthquake strengthening through our Built Heritage Incentive Fund. Find out if you qualify and how to apply.
Ready to apply?
Your application for an earthquake strengthening-related building consent will need to include:
- a completed application form (PDF 511 kb)
- a completed checklist (PDF 333 kb)
- an engineer’s assessment report
- a checklist, completed by you and the New Zealand Fire Service, covering the proposed fire-fighting facilities (PDF 296 kb)
- a Compliance Schedule if the checklist identifies that you need one
- a report on the building’s accessibility
- future-proofing considerations in preparation for a potential change of use
- architectural and structural engineering plans and calculations that support your proposal.
Prepare your house for earthquakes
There are many ways you can limit the damage a major earthquake could do to your house; most of them will require you to have a building consent.
- repairing or replacing damaged, decayed or unbraced pile foundations
- installing, repairing or replacing under-floor and wall bracing
- restraining hot-water cylinders and header tanks
- replacing or removing brick and concrete-masonry chimneys – or strengthening the spaces below them
- replacing loose and damaged concrete or clay roof tiles
- repairing or replacing damaged retaining walls and old pipes and cables.
All new building work must comply with the New Zealand Building Code, which tells you how a new building must perform.
If the work is structural or affects the house’s weathertightness, it’s likely to be ‘restricted building work’. This means that you must employ licensed building practitioners to design and supervise or carry out the work.
If you want to do the work yourself, you must first get an ‘owner-builder exemption’ and complete a statutory declaration. Take a look at the MBIE website for more information and application forms. Note that future buyers of your house will be able to find out about the work you’ve done.
Find out more about earthquake strengthening your house (PDF 1 Mb)
Get a professional assessment
If you’d like a professional assessment of your home, the Quakecheck service can help. A qualified builder will visit your home to check things that are commonly damaged in an earthquake, such as the chimney, foundations, roof tiles and hot water cylinder.
The assessment costs $160 (including GST) no matter how long it takes, and you’ll get a written report setting out the priorities and indicative costs of any work needed to make your home safer.
Request an assessment