EPB Test Case

Test case battle lines drawn

On 17 March there was a hearing in the District Court.  At issue was the WCC’s application to have a detailed seismic assessment (DSA), purportedly based on an American engineering standard, accepted as evidence for the Appeal of MBIE’s Determination ruling on the EPB status of 124 Wakefield St. This is unusual. An appeal should normally be argued on the…
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Test Case Update: Documents confirm Determination bias

On 5 June 2016 draft guidelines for the Seismic Assessment of Existing Buildings were released (available at eq-assess.org.nz). They will replace the NZSEE guidelines that have driven Wellington City Council’s seismic strengthening policy. At a high level the new guidelines are mostly just a rehash and justification of the original guidelines. The documents support our conclusion, if there were any…
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The test case: MBIE gloats over building owners’ gullibility

The key proposition that is being contested in the test case is that the Wellington City Council did not apply the legal test for an earthquake=prone building.  To be an earthquake-prone building, the building must exceed its ultimate capacity and be likely to collapse in a moderate earthquake. The Council switched the ultimate capacity test to ultimate limit state, and ignored the…
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Opening shot fired in test case war

For readers who have been following the test case through the Determination process it will come as no surprise that the Determination has been appealed to the District Court.   The appeal was filed in January and the process started with a case management conference, which was held on Friday 15 April.  The main outcome was that the parties would endeavour…
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The test case final determination: “I see nothiiinng”

Reading the final determination we were reminded of sergeant Schultz, the incompetent P.O.W. camp guard in the television comedy Hogan’s Heroes. Confronted with the most obvious breeches of the rules Shultz’s response is always “I see nothiiinng”. In the test case the MBIE Manager of determinations, John Gardiner, was faced with a compelling case that the Wellington City Council did…
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The test case: MBIE waves a white flag?

  MBIE’s determination on the earthquake prone building test case has finally been released. MBIE found nothing wrong with anything the Council did or did not do.  No surprises there. The applicants had three issues: The Council did not apply the legal test to designate the buildings as earthquake prone The Council’s approach of designating buildings on the basis of…
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Test case update

Last Friday we attended a hearing for the test case. The hearing was run by MBIE officials and attended by Wellington City Council. Disagreement between the parties centered around the interpretation of key words in the ‘Meaning of earthquake-prone building’ s 122 of the Building Act: Ultimate capacity – EBSS contended that ‘ultimate capacity’ should be interpreted in accordance with…
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