Challenge to Christchurch quake rules

Updated at 8:07 am on 14 November 2012

The Insurance Council is mounting a legal challenge against Christchurch City Council over its rules regarding earthquake-prone buildings.

After the first earthquake in September 2010, the city council raised the minimum seismic strength requirements for all buildings from 34% of the modern building standard to 67%.

The Insurance Council now says that was unlawful.

Manager John Lucas says the change - five months before the February 2011 earthquake which caused much more damage - did not give insurers enough time to adjust their policies to take account of the new rules.

While insurers want to see buildings repaired to a safe standard, Mr Lucas says they should be required to meet only the 34% threshold in effect before the September quake.

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