4 Apr 2016

Overloading led to Dunedin balcony collapse

6:10 pm on 4 April 2016

A code that regulates building consents for balconies is too weak for high density areas like north Dunedin and the government should consider lifting it, the Dunedin City Council says.

The scene of the balcony collapse off Castle Street in Dunedin on Friday 4 March 2016.

A balcony collapsed at a flat on Castle Street in Dunedin on 4 March. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

An independent report into a balcony collapse in north Dunedin on 4 March has found it was due to overloading.

Eighteen people were injured, two seriously, in the incident during a concert at a property with student flats on Castle Street.

The report said a different loading standard for balconies, particularly in the student precinct, could be implemented if the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment changed the law.

The council suggested the ministry look at the option, to allow councils to enforce a higher standard than under the current Building Code.

Otago Property Investors Association president Wendy Bowman said the report provided confidence that investors had followed the law.

However, Miss Bowman said housing in a seven-block area in the city was very dense with student housing and it was important to look at how things could be done to make buildings safe, so that students weren't hurt.

She said she expected to be consulted by the Dunedin City Council and Otago University about any changes that might be made following the report.