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Flooding and Cyclone Gabrielle
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Building assessments for flood and cyclone-damaged properties

In response to the recent extreme weather events, we have carried out rapid building assessments to help determine safety and risk for more than 7000 properties across Tāmaki Makaurau.

Rapid building assessments

If a natural disaster causes damage, we have a statutory and community obligation to carry out rapid building assessments under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002 and Building Act 2004.

We carry out rapid building assessments to help determine:

  • whether a building is safe to occupy
  • whether a building poses a potential safety risk to people and other property
  • whether land instability poses a potential risk.

Rapid building assessment placards

Following a rapid building assessment, a building will receive either a white, yellow, or red placard.

The placards are a legal instruction. Only authorised officials can place, change, remove or advise on removing them. White placards are an exception as they expire 21 days after they are issued and can then be removed by the owner.

Letter of confirmation for placard status

If your property has a placard, you will receive an email from us with a letter attached. This letter confirms your current placard status and your Request for Service (RFS) number.

You should know

We are processing letters of confirmation as quickly as we can. You may not have received one yet because your information is still being processed, or because we need your up-to-date contact information.

If you have not yet received a letter, email with:

  • your name
  • property address
  • email address
  • phone number
  • your property's placard colour.

The placard status confirmation letter can be used as an official document to provide evidence of the status of your address to any interested parties, including banks, insurance companies and the police.

If your placard status changes, you will receive an updated status letter. 

If you are a landlord, please communicate with your tenants.

If you are a tenant who has not had contact from your landlord, and you are unable to communicate with them, notify us by emailing

Placard colours explained

White – no access restrictions

White placards indicate a building has suffered light or no damage and can be used.

A white placard does not necessarily mean the building is safe, as there could be unobserved damage.

Owners may still want to get their own professional service checks done (e.g. building, engineering, electrical, plumbing, etc.).

Yellow - access restricted

Yellow placards indicate a building may have sustained moderate damage and access is restricted.

This means either:

  • some identified areas of the building pose a significant hazard and cannot be used, or
  • the public cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time on essential business.

Essential business could include emergency or assessment purposes or removing critical business records, valuables and property.

  • Y1 placard means that the building has moderate damage or is at risk from an external hazard and the use of some parts of the building or land may be restricted.
  • Y2 placard means that the building has been moderately damaged or is at risk from external factors, however, short-term entry is allowed for purposes such as assessing damage or for contractors to work on repairs.

Red – access prohibited

Red placards mean a building cannot be used and entry is prohibited because it has sustained moderate or heavy damage and poses a significant risk to health or life.

This could be from the building itself, from neighbouring buildings or hazards, or from ground failure.

  • R1 placard means entry is prohibited due to risk from external factors such as adjacent buildings or from ground failure.
  • R2 placard means entry is prohibited due to significant damage.

What happens after a rapid building assessment

Property owners have a responsibility to ensure a building remains structurally sound and sanitary following damage caused by a major geological or weather event.

Following a rapid building assessment, it is the property owner's responsibility to get the appropriate professionals to investigate the damage, give advice and carry out the remediation work required to make the property is not dangerous for occupants.

For example:

  • Structural issues for a building need to be assessed by a Licensed Building Practitioner (LBP) and/or a structural engineer.
  • Land issues where a slip has occurred may require advice from a geotechnical engineer.

You should know

Authorised officials, with advice from technical experts, may also put in broader protections to keep people safe.
This may include cordons, barricades and other measures to prevent buildings, debris or unstable land from causing harm or risking life.

If you have insurance

If you are insured, you should contact your insurance provider first to discuss the damage to your property. They will advise the process they wish you to follow relating to assessment and repairs.

They will also advise you on the building professionals they will engage or they will provide you with approval to engage your own professionals.

You may need to obtain a building consent before you undertake the work.

If you do not have insurance

If you do not have insurance, you will need to engage licensed building professionals to work through the remediation process.

They should be able to advise you on what approvals you may need for consent to comply with the relevant legislation.

Choosing a suitably qualified building practitioner

All licensed building practitioners are listed in the Licensed Building Practitioners (LBP) public register. If they are not registered, they are not a government-licensed practitioner.

LBPs are carpenters (builders), roofers, brick and blocklayers, external plasterers, designers, site and foundation specialists.

You could start looking by:

Send us confirmation of work to update your placard status

Once you have had work completed by a suitably qualified professional, send the confirmation to:

Put your property address and your RFS reference number in the email subject line. We can then review the placard status. We determine whether or not we need to visit the property again on a case by case basis.

We will send you an email notification and updated letter with a change of placard status for your address, if appropriate.

You can also contact us at to:

  • send in evidence to support placard changes
  • notify us of a dangerous or at-risk property that has not yet been assessed
  • notify us of changes that could result in danger to occupants and properties, such as further slips occurring.

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs)

Property owners should be aware that red, yellow and white placards will be disclosed on the property’s LIM.

We need to disclose this information under Section 44A of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987. 

Unless in exceptional circumstances, any future LIMs issued for the property will include the placard history. The most up to date placard status will show as 'open'. 

If we confirm a placard has been issued in error, it will not be noted on any future LIMs.

More information

Visit Building Performance for more information on rapid building assessments:

For information and advice on flooding and cyclone Gabrielle, visit Auckland Emergency Management.

Floods and civil emergencies can be distressing. If you have concerns, find out what support is available.

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