News

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…
Read more

More MBIE nonsense on the lives saved OIA request

In a recent update ‘Document confirms Minister’s estimate of lives saved by seismic policy was fabricated’ we explained how MBIE had hidden, for nearly five months, the document that showed how the estimate of “335 lives saved over the next 100 years” was calculated.  The document was an embarrassment because it showed that the estimate relied on the absurd assumption…
Read more

EBSS responses on hastings Opera House closure

 The Hastings Opera House Closure Recently Hastings City Council staff presented a paper to their council in which they made a spirited defence of the decision to close the Opera house and the Municipal buildings. The paper raises some important issues about Councils’ decision making  (and building owners more generally); how they react to engineering advice that their building has…
Read more

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…
Read more

Hawke’s Bay Opera House Report

EBSS was recently commissioned to conduct a life safety review of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House by local society Opera House Sanity. On Wednesday they released the following: Poor advice, council indecision devalue Opera House Incomplete advice from engineers plus council indecision has destroyed of the value of the Hawke’s Bay Opera House, Mike Butler of Opera House Sanity said…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more