13 Aug 2015

Insurance Council warns MPs of quake risks

2:55 pm on 13 August 2015

The Insurance Council has warned MPs that legislative changes must ensure a building's internal fit-out is up to the same standard as its engineering work, or lives could be put at risk.

Damaged buildings are demolished in the red zone area in downtown Christchurch on 21 February 2012.

Damaged buildings are demolished in the red zone area in downtown Christchurch in February 2012. Photo: AFP

Parliament's Local Government and Environment Select Committee is considering feedback from submitters on proposed changes to earthquake legislation.

Council insurance manager John Lucas told the committee a building might not collapse in an earthquake, but the internal structure could still present a danger.

Mr Lucas said it would not be a big cost to ensure that work to fit out a building - such as ceilings and ventilation - is up to standard.

He feared the bill did not adequately address all the dangers associated with quake-prone buildings.