Scenarios: Exemptions from carrying out seismic work

The following scenarios illustrate how a territorial authority might decide whether a particular earthquake-prone building (or part) has all the required characteristics for an exemption.

Scenario 1: Rural church

Known information Applicable characteristic Meets ✔ OR does not meet X
The church is not a priority building. It is not likely to be needed for use in an emergency, and is not on a strategic transport route.  Meets 10(2)(e)(ii) and 10(2)(f)
(would not affect any strategic transport route, and not required in emergency).

Note: These two characteristics are at the end of the list in the regulations, but as they are relatively straightforward to consider the territorial authority ticks them off first.
The church is only used twice a year for services.

Around 20 to 30 people usually attend and the service lasts for less than two hours.
Meets 10(2)(a)(i) and 10(2)(b)(i)
(‘nil to low’ intensity of occupation and passage now and in the foreseeable future).

This level of occupation meets the definition of ‘nil to low’ as set out in Schedule 4: infrequent, but sometimes more than low in number, always for short durations.
The engineering assessment records the critical structural weakness as out-of-plane failure of sections of masonry wall. The building may displace excessively, leading to overall collapse.

There is no other property on neighbouring land, and no current plans for development.
Meets 10(2)(c)(ii) and 10(2)(d)(ii)
(limited harm or damage likely if the building collapsed because intensity is ‘nil to low’ and it is not close to other property). 

Scenario 2: Small rural hall

Known information Applicable characteristic Meets ✔ OR does not meet x
The hall is not a priority building or on a strategic transport route (nor could it be, as this building is in a low seismic risk area).

The hall is not likely to be needed for use in an emergency.
Meets 10(2)(e)(ii) and 10(2)(f)
(would not affect any strategic transport route, and not required in emergency).
The hall is used by a local book club each month. There are 10 people in the book club, and their meetings usually last for one hour.

The hall is also usually used to host a Christmas party each year. Last year, 100 people attended and the party lasted seven hours.

A local student is employed to mow the lawns around the hall every fortnight. They’re on the property for up to an hour at a time.
Meets 10(2)(a)(ii) and 10(2)(b)(ii)
(‘low to moderate’ intensity of occupation and passage now and in the foreseeable future).

This level of occupation and passage meets the definition of ‘low to moderate’ intensity as set out in Schedule 4: infrequent, sometimes more than low in number, sometimes for more than short durations.
The engineering assessment records the critical structural weakness as an unrestrained section of in situ concrete wall (which would fall outwards).

The building is set back five metres from the footpath and road. There is no other neighbouring property (other than land), and no current plans for development.
Meets 10(2)(c)(i) and 10(2)(d)(i)
(limited harm or damage likely because of way it is expected to collapse and as it is not close to other property).

Scenario 3: Unreinforced masonry parapet on small building on winery estate

Known information Applicable characteristic Meets ✔ OR does not meet x
The parapet (the earthquake-prone part) is on a building that is not a priority building.

It is not likely to be needed for use in an emergency, and is not on a strategic transport route.
Meets 10(2)(e)(ii) and 10(2)(f)
(would not affect any strategic transport route, and not required in emergency).
The building is an old, single storey, stone building formerly used as a woodshed and now as a feature on a winery estate.

Its doors are left open permanently and it is often used as a shelter by visitors to the estate for up to a few hours.

The building is located just off a major bike trail. People park their bikes nearby and stop to take photos, so there are often people in close proximity.
Does not meet 10(2)(a) or 10(2)(b) – the building is used too frequently and by too many people, even though this is only for short periods at a time.

Note: As there is at least one characteristic not met, this would not qualify for an exemption.
X
The engineering assessment records the critical structural weakness as unrestrained unreinforced masonry. The parapet may collapse and fall outward, potentially injuring people outside.

The nearest building is the winery, which is 10 metres away. There are no current plans for further development.
Does not meet 10(2)(c). As there are regularly more than a low number of people close to the building, it does not satisfy 10(2)(c)(ii).

Does not meet 10(2)(c)(i) as the parapet could fall outward and, in doing so, injure more than a low number of people.
X
Meets 10(2)(d)(ii)
(as the building is not, and is not likely to be, next/near to other buildings or property).

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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: