Building standards in New Zealand are continually being updated. It is our role to ensure that we are applying these new standards to our buildings so we can make informed decisions about building maintenance, safety and building operations. We routinely commission building assessments and engineering reports and we’re working towards publishing information on our website about the seismic rating of all council buildings and assets like bridges and roads. We expect to start doing this later in the month.
When we receive reports on our buildings we look to incorporate any work required as part of our annual general programme of maintenance. In addition, over the last few years, we have undertaken a major refresh of council assets including two new community hubs, council administration building, and other facilities.
As part of our programme of commissioning engineering reports, the Petone Settlers Museum has recently received an initial desk-top seismic assessment, conducted by WPS Opus. This initial assessment has rated the building as 20% of the New Building Standard (NBS). As a result, Petone Settlers Museum has been issued with an Earthquake Prone Building notice (EPB) which will be reviewed when a more detailed seismic assessment is completed.
As the initial report identified no significant risk to staff and to the public, the museum will remain open. We’re working with our staff to ensure all visitors are aware of the earthquake prone status.
The major concern identified in the initial report was the ground under the building, located on Petone’s foreshore and comprised of soft soil, which has potential for liquefaction and settlement. The building’s reinforced concrete walls were also highlighted as an area that needed further investigation.
The detailed report is likely to take 6-8 weeks to complete. Once the Chief Executive is in receipt of this report she will immediately make a decision regarding whether the museum will remain open or close.
The Petone Settlers Museum, also known as the Wellington Provincial Centennial Memorial, was opened in 1940 on The Esplanade. The museum is currently operating on reduced hours and is open to the public Wednesday through to Sunday.