Legislation

Seismic Policy, Wellington City Council Style (part 1)

Part  one: Compliance with the law As we head towards the Appeal of the Determination on the test case, our thoughts have turned anew to the way the Wellington City Council developed their seismic strengthening  policy. When we prepared our Determination submissions we reviewed the material  received under an Official Information Act request for the Wellington City Council’s seismic policy…
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ACT Supplementary Order Papers

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…
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Document confirms Minister’s estimate of lives saved by seismic policy was fabricated

When Nick Smith, the Minister of Building and Housing, announced his new seismic strengthening policy proposals on 10 May 2015 he said that it would save 330 lives over the next 100 years. This contrasted starkly with the estimate of 24 lives saved in MBIE’s cost benefit analysis that was prepared as part of the 2012 review of seismic strengthening…
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NZSEE’s account of international seismic standards grossly misleading

In an article in the 2 September 2015 NBR the NZSEE Chair, Quincy Ma was reported to have made the following statements on ‘earthquake-prone’ building standards. New Zealand’s proposed definition of what constitutes an earthquake-prone building is only about half the equivalent standards set in the US, Japan and Europe, says the New Zealand Society of Earthquake Engineers (NZSEE). NZSEE…
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Press release: Seismic policy lives saved estimate a fabrication

 “The claim by Nick Smith,Minister of Building and Housing, in a recently released Cabinet paper, that 335 lives will be saved by the new seismic strengthening policies over the next 100 years, grossly overstates the true position,” Ian Harrison Chair of  EBSS says. MBIE’s  analysis of the life safety benefits, which is based on sound scientific evidence, shows that just…
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Minister’s response to EBSS Select Committee submission inaccurate and a distraction

On Tuesday 4 August the Minister of Building and Housing, Dr Nick Smith, reacted to a NBR request for his view on MBIE’s delay in issuing a determination on the earthquake prone building test case. His response attacked what we had to say to the Select Committee about the roles played by the NZSEE (and MBIE) in the implementation of…
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Select Committee releases ‘interim report’

On Tuesday the Local Government and Environment Select Committee released an ‘interim report’ on the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill. The report details a raft of changes outlined in Minister Dr Nick Smith’s speech last month. As we suspected, these changes still miss the mark on what is wrong with the current system. We will be publishing a detailed analysis…
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Minister’s new clothes update: ‘the dog ate my homework’

The classic schoolboy excuse for failing to hand in homework looks credible compared to the excuse that MBIE has made for not provided us with documents requested under the Official Information Act. In our analysis (the Minister’s new clothes) of the new seismic strengthening policies announced in The Building Minister’s speech in May we pointed out some ‘schoolboy’ errors  and…
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