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earthquake strengthen martonThere are between 15 and 25-thousand earthquake prone buildings across the country and the Government wants them demolished or strengthened within the next 20 years.

Heritage proponents want old buildings saved, but many owners can't afford the strengthening work and say it's more economical to knock them down.

In the provinces, where the economy is more depressed, it's unlikely owners will do the expensive strengthening work, and locals fear whole streets may have to be demolished.

Cushla Norman asks who should carry the cost of preserving New Zealand's history - building owners, the Government or both? And how will New Zealand's streetscape look in 20 years?

Image: Main street in Marton where numerous buildings need strengthening