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Quake-risk streets identified

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 28/02/2017

Facades and parapets on buildings on 38 streets in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Blenheim and Hurunui must be secured within a year.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says the streets have been identified since the Kaikoura earthquake in November on the basis of where the greatest risks are.

"The Kaikoura earthquake has increased the seismic risks in Wellington, Lower Hutt, Blenheim and Hurunui over the next three years," he said on Tuesday.

"The 38 streets have been selected by councils on the basis of pedestrian and vehicular traffic and where the risks from unreinforced masonry parapets and facades are greatest."

Dr Smith has previously announced that the government and councils will pay 50 per cent of the cost of repairs up to a maximum grant of $15,000 for a facade and $10,000 for a parapet.

He says many building owners in the identified streets already know repairs are needed.

Councils will soon start issuing notices to the owners which will start the clock on the 12-month deadline.

Dr Smith has named the streets in his media statement but not the buildings.

He's using his powers under special earthquake legislation to enforce the repairs.

"Falling unreinforced masonry is a major risk to people on the street during an earthquake, as we saw in the 2011 Canterbury earthquake when it claimed the lives of 39 people," he said.

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