The Wellington City Council is committed to a partnership with the UC Quake Centre to help improve community resilience in Christchurch, and throughout New Zealand, following the devastation of the Canterbury Earthquakes.
It is well documented that the Wellington region has potential earthquake risk, with a number of active faults identified in the area. Since the devastation of the Canterbury Earthquakes in 2010/2011 there has been an increased awareness and public interest across New Zealand regarding how earthquakes may affect areas prone to seismic activity. In particular, how buildings perform during earthquakes.
The Wellington City Council’s goal is to apply the lessons learnt from the Canterbury Earthquakes and continue to put in place measures to improve the seismic resilience of earthquake-prone buildings and other infrastructure in the city.
All local authorities, under amendments to the Buildings Act 2004 are required to conduct seismic assessments of all non-residential and multi-unit, multi-story residential buildings. The government is currently revisiting those timeframes so they vary relative to seismic risk with high, medium and low risk areas expected to be allowed five, ten and fifteen years for assessment and fifteen, twenty-five and thirty-five years for strengthening.
When Wellington City Council developed and implemented its policy, it had the benefit of more than 30 years’ experience in strengthening quake-prone buildings. More recently, the Council has implemented The Seismic Performance Programme, to assess all pre-1976 buildings in the city.
A key objective moving forward is to collaborate with organisations that have expertise in their field, like the UC Quake Centre, to ensure the Council can make informed decisions regarding risk and safety in a quake-prone region.
To obtain the best possible result, the Council and the community must strike a balance between the need for public safety, heritage preservation and cost minimisation. Absolutely Positively Wellington – Wellington City Council is proud to partner with UC Quake Centre to help achieve this goal.