The Building Act (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill is now before Parliament for its second reading. The member for Epsom, David Seymour, has proposed two supplementary order papers that would amend the Bill in the following respects.
SOP 152 exempts all buildings in low seismic risk areas (for example Auckland,Hamilton and Dunedin) from the provisions of the Act.
SOP 156 introduces an exemption based on an earthquake life safety risk rating. The Chief Executive of MBIE would be required to develop a life risk safety measurement methodology and set a life risk safety standard. An owner of a building who has received a earthquake prone building notice may apply for an exemption from the local authority on the grounds that the building meets the life safety risk standard.
Mr. Seymour’s attempt to inject some rationality into seismic safety regulation with amendments that that are directed to the purposes of the Act – protecting lives, but not at any cost – is to be commended. We hope Parliament will give the amendments serious consideration.
The supplementary order papers can be accessed on Parliament’s website: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/bill/government/2013/0182/latest/versions.aspx