Ministry to investigate buildings’ performance in quake

Building & Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith said yesterday the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment would undertake a technical investigation into the performance of buildings such as Statistics House at CentrePort to improve building regulation.

Dr Smith said: “This week’s significant earthquakes have tested the seismic strength of many of Wellington’s multi-storey buildings. This investigation will focus on Statistics House to understand its performance and where there may be wider lessons for improved design.

“My advice from officials is that the vast bulk of Wellington buildings have performed well but, if information comes to hand on other issues related to seismic performance, the investigation may be widened.

“It is important that people do not jump to incorrect conclusions on buildings’ seismic performance from Monday’s earthquake. The frequency of that quake particularly impacted on medium-height buildings, but another earthquake or aftershock could more severely impact on lowrise buildings.

“The fact most lowrise earthquake-prone buildings did not suffer extensive damage reflects more on the type of earthquake than the buildings’ overall seismic strength.”

Attribution: Ministerial release.

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