7 Jul 2014

Farms get quake rules exemption

9:14 am on 7 July 2014

Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy has told farmers that their farm buildings will be exempt from tough new rules around earthquake prone buildings.

Mr Guy told the Federated Farmers annual conference last week he'd successfully lobbied his colleague Nick Smith to grant farm buildings an exemption from strengthening work.

Mr Guy said there had never been an earthquake-related fatality in a farm building and that they had very low occupancy rates.

"It makes no sense to require earthquake assessments of hay sheds, of shearing sheds, of implement sheds, of milking sheds when the farm houses are where people spend more time and they are exempted", he said.

"We need to take a pragmatic approach and focus our efforts to improve the earthquake safety of buildings on those that pose the greatest risk to public safety. This decision about these farm buildings being exempt I'm sure will be a relief to many of you in the room."

Mr Guy said there had never been an earthquake-related fatality in a farm building.

Mr Guy said there had never been an earthquake-related fatality in a farm building. Photo: PHOTO NZ