30 Jul 2013

Contribution to quake strengthening sought from Govt

5:37 pm on 30 July 2013

Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett says the Government needs to contribute some of the money required to strengthen earthquake-prone historic buildings.

She said it would cost $1 billion to strengthen all quake-prone buildings and that would be achievable if the Government was more forthcoming with funding.

Ms Pannett said the Government is happy to spend the same amount of money on the Transmission Gully motorway, and should be willing to spend that again on keeping people safe during earthquakes.

The head of the Property Council says landlords can't be expected to shoulder the expense of strengthening earthquake prone buildings.

Property Council chief executive Connal Townsend, told Nine to Noon that landlords can strengthen heritage buildings only if they stand to make a return on their investment through higher rents.

He said there's a risk they will instead board up heritage buildings and sit on their investment instead of spending the extra money.

If there's public interest in preserving buildings, Mr Townsend said public money should be spent on strengthening.

Councils in the main centres are currently assessing some of the 25,000 buildings believed to be earthquake prone in New Zealand.

Central NZ hit by 1900 aftershocks

GNS Science says almost 1900 aftershocks of above magnitude 2.0 have been recorded since the magnitude 6.5 earthquake in central New Zealand on Sunday last week.

GNS Science logo

Photo: GNS Science

The magnitude 6.5 quake has resulted in more than 2000 claims being filed with the Earthquake Commission.

Seismologist Caroline Holden said, as with the February 2011 quake in Christchurch, the number of aftershocks was not unexpected.

She said the main difference is that in Wellington only about 10 of the 1900 aftershocks would have been felt, but thousands were felt in Christchurch.

GNS has deployed extra seismic instruments in Marlborough to record the aftershocks.