News, Events and Culture

Six more buildings in Palmerston North have been added to the Earthquake Prone Building List

Friday July 19 2013

Last year, the Palmerston North City Council released a list of more than 100 Earthquake Prone Buildings. The list comprises mostly Unreinforced Masonry Buildings in the city centre and the buildings listed are below 33 per cent of what is required for new buildings. The Building Act 2004 defines buildings below 33 per cent of code as earthquake-prone and having greater risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake.

Engineers are currently part way through a four year project to assess a further 400 buildings in Palmerston North for earthquake proneness. The list has been prioritised based on high public use and emergency services requirements. Assessments won't be completed until 2016.

Peter Eathorne, general manger Customer Services, says the list was put together after an initial conservative assessment carried out by a consulting engineer on behalf of the Council and has been updated every few months since as more buildings are assessed.

Currently, 136 buildings are on the list. The owners of the buildings are now required to carry out their own structural integrity assessment or start planning for a strengthening programme.

Since the original list was compiled several owners have provided structural engineering reports confirming their buildings are no longer considered earthquake prone, others have carried out work to ensure their buildings have been structurally upgraded to an appropriate level and these buildings have been removed from the list.

The new additions to the list are:
14 - 18 Broadway                   T&G Building
22 - 30 Broadway                   AMP Building
140 King Street                       Old Plunket Rooms
97 - 100 The Square               Watson Building
101 - 104 The Square             Old Public Library
117 - 120 The Square             Imperial Chambers

The full EQPB list is available at:

Council's current EQPB policy is in line with existing Government guidelines. Council currently requires a 15-30 year timeframe for strengthening buildings below 33% of new building code towards a minimum of 67% of code. The guidelines are pre-Christchurch earthquakes. Earlier this year the Government consulted on a new draft policy developed post the recommendations from Canterbury Earthquake Royal Commission.
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