15 May 2011

Auckland quake-strengthening list 'alarmist'

10:15 am on 15 May 2011

An organisation representing some Auckland city landlords and retailers says a council list revealing buildings that may need earthquake-strengthening is alarmist and irrelevant.

Four hundred buildings constructed before 1940 have been identified but not inspected by the Auckland Council, following the Christchurch earthquake.

The council says assessments of priority buildings will be carried out this year.

It says the risk of an earthquake is low, but a draft policy will look at how to deal with buildings found to pose a risk.

A spokesperson for the group Heart of the City, Alex Swney, says the list may cause unnecessary problems and make some tenants rethink staying in buildings when their rent comes up for review.

He says an earthquake-strengthening policy should not be a knee-jerk reaction to Christchurch, and needs to done in a measured way, keeping in mind that earthquakes in Auckland are highly improbable.