The rules for managing exemptions

The Building Act 2004 and the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations 2005 set the rules for managing exemptions from completing seismic work.

Exemptions and the Building Act

The Building Act contains the earthquake-prone building (EPB) provisions. Sections relevant to exemptions include:

  • scope of the EPB provisions – section 133AA spells out what buildings can (and cannot) be identified as potentially earthquake prone or determined  earthquake prone. Smaller residential buildings, farm buildings, and a range of other buildings with low consequences of failure (retaining walls, fences, certain monuments, wharves, bridges, tunnels and storage tanks) are outside the scope of these provisions.
  • owners may apply for exemptions – section 133AN says what building owners must do to apply for an exemption and how territorial authorities must deal with applications. This section also provides the power for territorial authorities to review and revoke exemptions.  
  • exemption notices – section 133AP covers the requirement to attach EPB exemption notices and what to do if these come loose or are illegible.
  • offences – section 133AU lists offences relating to EPB exemption notices. 

Exemptions and the regulations

Regulation 10 and Schedule 4 of the Building (Specified Systems, Change the Use, and Earthquake-prone Buildings) Regulations set out the required building characteristics for an exemption. Territorial authorities must grant an exemption from the requirement to complete seismic work if they are satisfied an earthquake-prone building or part has all these characteristics.

Regulation 10 and Schedule 4 are available on the NZ Legislation website.

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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: