CTV chief designer apologises

12:07 pm on 8 August 2012

Seven weeks into an eight-week inquiry, the families of the CTV victims have had an apology from the building's principal engineer.

Alan Reay is giving evidence for the third time at the Royal Commission on the building's collapse during the February 2011 earthquake, which killed 115 people.

He has read a statement saying that during his career, he tried to maintain the highest standards of the profession and that this building was not up to his standards.

He apologised to the families for their losses.

However Maan Alkaisi, whose wife Maysoon Mahdi Abbas died in the collapse, says Dr Reay apologised only because his lawyer pressured him to say something to the families.

Throughout the inquiry, Dr Reay has maintained the CTV project was in the hands of his engineers and he had little to do with it.

Consent process 'tightened up'

Earlier, a Christchurch City Council manager, Steve McCarthy, said decision-making on building consents has been tightened up since consents for the CTV building were signed off in 1986.

Mr McCarthy said the council's process for checking building consents had changed considerably since the six-storey building was constructed.

He said the council is now accredited with IANZ, or International Accreditation New Zealand, which assesses building consent authorities against government standards.

He said no accreditation system existed in 1986.

Mr McCarthy also said the CTV building was not considered earthquake-prone before the September 2010 quake.

The lawyer acting for the council, Duncan Laing, is expected to call Dr Reay to give evidence again on Tuesday.