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Auckland Council

Earthquake-prone buildings

The approach for identifying and managing potentially earthquake-prone buildings is governed by the provisions of the Building Act 2004.

Changes under the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016

On 1 July 2017, the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect.

This supersedes the earthquake-prone buildings section of Auckland Council’s Earthquake-prone, Dangerous and Insanitary Building Policy.

We will write to building owners affected by the legislation change with further information. Letters will be sent between November 2017 and mid-2019, depending on local board area.

Structures that the act applies to

The act applies to commercial buildings and some residential buildings.

Residential buildings are only covered under the act if they:

  • comprise two or more storeys and three or more household units,
  • or are used as hostels, boarding houses or other types of specialised accommodation.

The act does not apply to:

  • farm buildings
  • stand-alone retaining walls
  • fences
  • statues and other monuments that cannot be entered
  • wharves
  • bridges
  • tunnels
  • storage tanks.

Previous earthquake-prone building assessments

If you own a building that was assessed as not earthquake-prone under our initial evaluation programme, then you don't need to take any further action.

If you own a building that was assessed as earthquake-prone under our initial evaluation programme, you can either:

New earthquake-prone building assessments

If you choose to undertake a new assessment using the MBIE methodology, the result of the assessment will supersede any existing seismic assessment rating.

You will have 12 months from the date you receive written notification from us to carry out a new assessment.

You will need to cover the cost of a new assessment.

Extension to provide an earthquake-prone building assessment

An extension of up to 12 months may be available if you are unable to provide an assessment by the due date.

You have to apply for an extension at least two months before the initial due date.

Apply for an extension to provide an earthquake-prone building assessment

 By email

Email your completed application form to our seismic performance team at eqbproject@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

 By post

Post your completed application form to:

Attn: Seismic performance team
Auckland Council
Building capability - Building consents
35 Graham Street
Auckland 1010

Buildings with earthquake-prone status

If your building retains an existing earthquake-prone evaluation or is rated as earthquake-prone under the new assessment, you will:

  • be issued with a statutory Earthquake-Prone Building (EPB) notice, which you must display in a prominent place in your building
  • have the details of your building added to a new national register of earthquake-prone buildings
  • have 35 years from the date of the EPB notice to strengthen your building so that it is no longer earthquake-prone, or if you carry out a substantial alteration or change of use, have to strengthen your building at the same time.

Earthquake-prone buildings with multiple unit titles

When a building with multiple unit titles is deemed earthquake-prone, the owner of each title will be issued with a separate earthquake-prone building notice.

Extension to complete strengthening for heritage buildings

You can apply for a 10-year extension to complete strengthening works for an earthquake-prone building that is:

  • a Category 1 listed building, or
  • on the National Historic Landmarks list.

For further information, email our seismic performance team at eqbproject@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Exemption from strengthening for isolated buildings

You can apply for an exemption from strengthening works for an earthquake-prone building that is:

  • used infrequently
  • poses a low risk of injury to people and damage to other property in the event of an earthquake.

For detailed qualifying criteria, see section 10 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005.

For further information, email our seismic performance team at eqbproject@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.

Further information

You can read about the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings, including the relevant legislation, on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website.

For further information, email our seismic performance team at eqbproject@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.