Earthquake-prone building system review begins

Posted: 20 June 2024

Earthquake prone building terms of reference
The Government has today published the terms of reference for the Review of the earthquake-prone buildings (EPB) system. The Review is now underway and will look at the way Aotearoa/New Zealand manages seismic risk in existing buildings.

Residents and building owners of earthquake-prone buildings (EPB) are facing a number of challenges with the current system, related to the affordability and feasibility of seismic strengthening within the required remediation deadlines. The Review will consider how well the current system is working, identify problems, consider what we’ve learnt since 2017, and provide findings and high-level recommendations

Terms of Reference for the review of seismic risk management in existing buildings -

Scope of the earthquake-prone building system review

The Review will take a fresh and impartial look at how seismic risk for existing buildings is managed in Aotearoa/New Zealand. It will be overseen by a Steering Group with an independent chair, including members from across both local and government agencies, as well as building owners and technical experts. The Review will:  

  • consider how well the current system for managing seismic risk in existing buildings is working
  • identify problems and opportunities
  • provide findings and high-level recommendations.

Timeframe extension for remediation deadlines 

While the Review is underway, the Government has agreed to amend the Building Act 2004 to extend all non-lapsed EPB remediation deadlines, as of 2 April 2024, by four years, with an option to extend by a further two years if required. Extensions will be applied automatically once legislation has been passed, and territorial authorities will reissue EPB notices to all eligible buildings. This will help keep implementation costs low and provide clarity and certainty to owners and territorial authorities.

Review engagement and feedback 

The Review will engage widely with those in the sector and associated networks, such as councils, earthquake-prone building owners, insurers, and technical membership associations, to understand the issues faced with managing seismic risk in existing buildings and there will be opportunities for New Zealanders to share their perspectives. To provide feedback and to share your experiences of the current EPB system, please get in touch at  

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This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: