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New system for building emergency management

Posted: 21 June 2019

Building Controls Update 248
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The Building Amendment Act was passed into law this week. The Act provides a new system for quickly and effectively managing buildings during and after an emergency.

The new system and legislative powers will come into effect in December. From that time, after an emergency event councils will be able to:

  • carry out work to, or demolish, any buildings that pose an immediate risk to life, or risk damage or disruption to neighbouring buildings or public thoroughfares
  • require building owners to provide information, such as detailed engineering assessments, to help determine the risks posed by their buildings
  • require damaged buildings to be repaired or demolished on a case-by-case basis.

The Act also provides clear legislative powers to allow the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to investigate significant building failures.

Next steps

MBIE will work with the key agencies responsible for building emergency management, including a representative group of territorial authorities, to discuss roles, responsibilities and processes.

MBIE will also ensure that the available guidance documents on building emergency management are updated before the Act comes into effect.

Background to the Act

The new system for building emergency management provided by the Act was developed in response to the recommendations of the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission, while the legislative powers for investigating building failures respond to the lessons learned during MBIE’s recent investigations into several significant building failures.

You can read more about the Act on the New Zealand parliament website.

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: