Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill: Historic Places Aotearoa Submission on the Interim Report of the Local Government and Environment Committee

The following is the text of the Historic Places Aotearoa Submission:

HPA logo and text

Patron: Dame Anne Salmond, DBR, FRSNZ, FBA
2013 New Zealander of the Year

16 July 2016

Chair of the Local Government & Environment Committee,
NZ Government,
Parliament Buildings,


Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill
Local Government and Environment Select Committee

Submission on the Interim Report of the

Local Government and Environment Committee



This submission is made by Historic Places Aotearoa Inc. (HPA) which welcomes the opportunity to comment on the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) (EPB) Amendment Bill (the Bill) and associated Interim Report

The reasons for making this submission are that HPA promotes the preservation of historic places in Aotearoa New Zealand. HPA also has an interest to promote the education of the public in the appreciation of heritage values. HPA is a key stakeholder in the consultation process and answerable to its affiliated regional societies and associated membership.

HPA has reviewed the Officials’ Report and considered the impact the proposed amendments will make on heritage buildings.

HPA has a particular interest in the subject of this Bill, for the merits of the sustainable urban quality and distinctive character of New Zealand cities and towns. Making those policies workable requires appropriate resourcing, especially of the right quantity and level of engineering and related professional skills. There are public-good benefits which justify public investment side-by-side with the costs and benefits for private and corporate owners of heritage buildings.

HPA is generally supportive of the requirements of the Bill and the supplementary changes suggested in the Officials’ Report. It believes it strikes an appropriate balance between protecting people from possible harm and managing the costs associated with strengthening whilst at the same time, recognizing the need to preserve New Zealand’s heritage. A national consistent approach is preferable to the variety of approaches which prevail under the current system. The policy shift to greater guidance from central government should assist those Territorial Authorities (TAs) with more limited access to expertise, resources and information.

HPA particularly endorses the following Official Recommendations:

  • the exclusion of certain buildings and structures as listed and in particular monuments, many of which are of heritage value;
  • the clarification of the definition in the Bill of earthquake prone building and in particular greater clarity relating to parts of buildings;
  • the defining 3 separate risk areas as this will make a significant difference to for heritage buildings in medium and low risk areas;
  • the altering the timeframes to remediate based on the 3 proposed risk areas;
  • the proposed changes under recommendation 5 with respect to the assessment, recording and publishing of earthquake prone buildings;
  • the recommendation that the Bill be amended to incorporate amendments arising as a result of the enactment of the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014 for example to provide for owners of buildings on the National Historic Landmarks List to also apply for the extension of time of up to 10 years to complete seismic work.
    HPA would recommend that heritage buildings should specifically include all buildings listed by Heritage New Zealand and should also include buildings included on Territorial Authority heritage schedules. Heritage New Zealand has limited funds to register heritage buildings and many important heritage buildings are not listed by Heritage New Zealand.
    TA lists have significantly more buildings scheduled compared to the Heritage New Zealand list.
    We note that only buildings on TA lists are protected under the Resource Management Act.
  • the recommendation allowing for some buildings meeting certain criteria to be granted an exemption as many heritage buildings are likely to meet the 5 criteria set out in the recommendation.
    We would recommend that ‘heritage value’ be specifically added to the list.
  • the recommendation that clause 23 section 133AX be amended. We would recommend that the test should include an ANARP test when the guidelines are developed by MBIE;


HPA wishes to appear before the Committee to speak to their submission.


James Blackburne
Historic Places Aotearoa Inc
P O Box 693
Christchurch 8041

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