Auckland has been judged to have such a low earthquake risk that no quake-related deaths are considered likely within the next 100 years.
GNS Science is forecasting no quake deaths in the city in the next century, seven in the next 500 years and perhaps 15 over 1000 years.
The Auckland Council says the findings back its argument that the city shouldn't be bound by a nationwide code to strengthen buildings, as proposed by the Government. It says the $1 billion needed to meet the proposed standard would deliver only $4 million of benefit over the next five centuries.
The council wants the Government to specify a safety standard and leave individual local authorities to decide how to meet it. A council report supports much of the building upgrades in proposed legislation but says the level of strenghtening should be determined region by region, and should take into account heritage and commercial factors.
It also says some buildings such as those in rural areas shoud be exempt, and a government fund should be set up to help with strengthening heritage buildings.
GNS says a faultline rupture generating an earthuake measuring between 6.7 and 7.2 occurs in Auckland only every 10,000 to 20,000 years.