13 Feb 2014

Dalziel confident on quake rule change

4:19 pm on 13 February 2014

Christchurch mayor Lianne Dalziel has said she is confident the council will relax the rules on quake-prone buildings when it next meets to discuss the issue.

Lianne Dalziel.

Lianne Dalziel. Photo: RNZ

All council-owned non-residential buildings which met less then 34 percent of the building standards were closed in 2011, and 236 buildings were in that category. But the council's Earthquake Recovery Committee has now recommended those without significant damage be reopened.

Ms Dalziel told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme on Thursday the council has already intervened to reopen smaller buildings, such as toilet facilities at local parks, after they were closed because they don't meet the 34 percent threshhold.

She said the previous council acted conservatively, but the current council would carry out proper engineering checks to ensure any buildings reopened are safe.

"We are carrying out a sensible approach, not a tick-box approach, but an analysis on whether the buildings are safe to use on a day to day basis."

Lianne Dalziel expected the council would act on the recommendations when it met in a fortnight.

The proposed change follows advice from the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment.

A special panel of experts will examine borderline cases.