Public consultation for DCC Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy

Making buildings safe AND safeguarding Dunedin’s capital investment and reputation as a heritage city.

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### ODT Online Thu, 14 Apr 2011
Safe building ideas sought
By David Loughrey
The dates are set and the process is about to begin to make Dunedin a safer place in an earthquake. While planning for a review of the Dunedin City Council policy on dangerous, insanitary and earthquake-prone buildings began last year, it took on a new urgency after the Christchurch earthquake in February. The council yesterday announced it had completed its review, and the document was available for inspection and submissions from the public, with the submission process to end on May 27.

Three “drop-in sessions” have been organised, with a May 2 session at the Port Chalmers Library, and two sessions on May 3, one at the Clarion building in Princes St, and another at the Gasworks Museum in South Dunedin. Staff and council representatives would be available to discuss issues related to the policy. A hearing is scheduled for the week beginning June 4 to consider submissions.

Read more

Related Posts:
28.3.11 Dunedin earthquake proneness 2
9.3.11 Dunedin earthquake proneness
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
14.2.11 Earthquake proneness
14.9.10 DCC Media Release: Dunedin’s Heritage Buildings

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

51 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, People, Politics, Project management, Town planning, Urban design

51 responses to “Public consultation for DCC Earthquake-prone Buildings Policy

  1. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Mon, 2 May 2011
    Quake strengthening grants a first for city
    By Chris Morris
    The owners of two heritage buildings in Dunedin have become the first in the city to receive grants for earthquake strengthening work, designed to protect Dunedin heritage buildings from a Christchurch-style disaster. However, the Dunedin City Council expects demand for funding to grow as more building owners line up for assistance to make sure their buildings are safe.
    Read more

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    ODT Online: Demolition permit refused
    Due to monster vaguaries with this news story no comment is offered by What if? on the doings of Mr Alistair Broad, wealthy husband of Act MP Hilary Calvert (there by list and not the grace of God).
    We await a statement from Dunedin City Council.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 3 May 2011
      ‘Holes’ spoil townscape
      By Eileen Goodwin
      People complain if “holes” appear in the city centre, which is why the Dunedin City Council requires building owners to retain or replace building structures, city development manager Anna Johnson says. Dr Johnson responded to Alistair Broad’s criticisms that he had been advised he could not demolish his unsafe building, the former Dainty Dairy in Stuart St, because of the district plan’s protection of the townscape.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Tue, 03/05/2011 – 6:59pm.
        Comment by ej kerr on To be abroad
        If of private means, and when fate dictates that the building you own has become unsafe, it’s not trivial, it’s not an accident, it’s completely soul destroying – you have to plan to walk away. Or burn up inside.
        Read more

      • Elizabeth

        Mr Broad continues to bullshit the stupid ODT reporters, and to ‘broad-side’ DCC. Short man’s syndrome.

        7.5.11 ODT Online: Building ‘more unsafe’
        Mr Broad was issued with a dangerous building notice by the Dunedin City Council on April 20 after he presented the council with an engineer’s report showing the building was unsafe.

        ****

        And which convenient Dunedin engineer decided to be on Broad’s payroll – we’re rapidly building a list of slimy Dunedin-based structural engineers.

        Some of these individuals have become quite active in the last year, acting ‘professionally’ – with no hesitation – assisting prominent cowboy property investors and developers to demolish significant heritage buildings. They have abetted the building owners’ active, conscious, deliberate decisions to allow the city’s built heritage and historic streetscape to fall over into utter neglect. For the creation of car parks. Avarice is their calling card, or was it real estate.

        The property investor has the means to retain and maintain this building several times over – but he prefers to gameplay Dunedin City Council for his own ends. So what’s new. No moral fibre, precocious at best. Can be funny at times. Not anybody you would want to trust with your city and its undergarments.

        ****

        22.3.11 ODT Online: The Dainty Dairy: From halcyon days to a slow demise (Roy Colbert)

        3.5.11 ODT Online: To be abroad (ej kerr)

        • Elizabeth

          DCC will respond on Monday. Mr Broad’s on a fishing expedition. Where have we seen him before.

          ### ODT Online Sat, 14 May 2011
          Pedestrian barriers to stay
          By Eileen Goodwin
          Pedestrian barriers around the former Dainty Dairy building will remain . . . Mr Broad was last month ordered by the Dunedin City Council to make the building safe.
          Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 3 May 2011
      No-one at council’s drop-in session
      By Rebecca Fox
      While no-one turned up to the Dunedin City Council’s first “drop-in” session on its draft policy aiming to make sure the city was a safer place in an earthquake, there is hope people will take advantage of two further sessions today.
      Read more

      Meetings, Tuesday 3 May
      Clarion Building, Princes St (noon to 2pm) – opp former Chief Post Office
      South Dunedin Gasworks Museum (4pm-6pm) – Braemar Street

    • Elizabeth

      Report – PEC – 18/10/2011 (PDF, 5.6 MB)
      Adoption of Dunedin Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake-Prone Buildings Policy

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Wed, 19 Oct 2011
        Two-year deadline for quake buildings
        By David Loughrey
        Owners of Dunedin buildings have two years from next July to complete earthquake assessments, and work at a significant cost is expected to be uncovered. But Dunedin City Council planning and environment committee chairwoman Cr Kate Wilson said the council may consider the situation again once those assessments have taken place. An updated Dunedin policy setting out the city’s response to earthquake fears for its ageing buildings is one step away from being adopted, following an early review prompted by the Christchurch earthquakes. The updated policy on dangerous, insanitary and earthquake-prone buildings was yesterday recommended for adoption by the committee. A final rubber stamp is due at a full council meeting on October 31.
        Read more

  2. Phil

    On the plus side, it was Mr Broad who outed the Council a few years back with the regard to major double dipping of attendance and directors fees. Not excusing him on this occasion, however.

  3. Peter

    Also he did speak out against the stadium at the STS Town Hall meeting. All credit to him on that one. Personally, I would have liked the Dainty Dairy restored and put to a good alternative use. That big, glassed black box building across the road – not sure of its name – is a far greater abomination. (With all that glass I don’t think it would be any safer in an earthquake!) A restored and strengthened Dainty Dairy would be far more pleasing to the eye.

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 18 May 2011
      Dainty Dairy barriers temporary
      By Eileen Goodwin
      Permission for footpath barriers around the Dainty Dairy building in Stuart St is temporary and they are not to be in place indefinitely, Dunedin City Council resource consents manager Alan Worthington says. Mr Worthington was reacting to an engineer’s report, released by dairy building co-owner Alistair Broad last week, recommending barriers stay in place, even though the building’s unstable veranda and parapets had been removed recently.
      Read more

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 21 May 2011
        Magazine
        Downfall of the Dainty Dairy
        By Mark Price
        For a brief moment, Moreen Hall was a media star. She was the Dunedin dairy owner who refused to sell cigarettes. But that decision proved to be just one more nail in the coffin of Dunedin’s Dainty Dairy. Mark Price chronicles the downfall of a Dunedin institution.

        Prior to buying the dairy in December 2006, Mrs Hall flew to Dunedin and spent half an hour looking it over. Within hours she had paid $23,500 to the previous operator, Rayelyn Hodge, for the lease and the stock, and committed herself to paying a monthly rental of $1500 to building owner and landlord Lincoln Darling.

        In 2008, the building was bought by Hills Creek Road Ltd whose shareholders are Bay Trustees Ltd, Alistair Broad, Hilary Calvert, Richard Paterson, Lee Paterson and Peter Gowing. Ms Calvert is an Act list member of Parliament and is married to Mr Broad.

        Read more

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        ### ODT Online Sat, 21 May 2011
        Land, lots of land
        The company that owns the Dainty Dairy, Hills Creek Road Ltd, makes no secret of the fact it is not interested in being the owner of a small, dilapidated dairy in Stuart St. One of the company’s owners, Alistair Broad, told the ODT it was always the intention to “aggregate” the land on the Stuart St-Smith St corner to create a site for a large development. Mr Broad said work was already under way amalgamating the titles of the land owned by Hills Creek and a related company. He suggested the site could be used for a multistorey office and apartment building – much larger than the “glass box” on the adjacent corner.

        “Unfortunately, the city council has not quite grasped the idea that if you build something new in an environment where there’s no growth, then something falls off the edge.”

        Read more

  4. Anonymous

    “Building owner and landlord Lincoln Darling”
    as in Dragon Cafe

    • Elizabeth

      Yep. That was the point. No accidents in this town.

      More car parking signalled for the other side of Rattray St. Who owns the buildings there. Rhetorical. #connections

  5. It is clear that the Dainty Dairy is no longer viable in this location: there is just too much competition from supermarkets and businesses such as Night-and-Days, in the area. What are property owners meant to do when the rental from the property in its current configuration, is not enough to give a return after expenses and maintenance costs?
    Dunedin will never prosper while those who wish to invest in the city are thwarted by bureaucrats and politicians.

    • Elizabeth

      Alistair, perhaps you miss the meaning of what good stewardship of the city’s building stock actually requires and why it is necessary; and what is appropriate activity within a District Plan listed townscape precinct (urban design). There is a pattern established between the few property investors (market players) guilty of demolition by neglect in Dunedin City. If they say they’re worried about “public safety”, it pays not to be naive in your reading of their glib pronouncements. Mind you, some are fully prepared – in Rattray, Crawford and Princes Streets recently – to ignore public safety in the management of their buildings, with scarcely a thought for the safety of their tenants. Takes all sorts, we have their number. Unless mistaken, Mr Broad appears to be taking on the verbal/legal cause – against DCC – for the local privateer charlatan rabble. Vaingloriously, calculated.

  6. Anon

    Who says it the building has to be released as a dairy? Broad, Darling and co are little more than vandals to the cityscape.

  7. Elizabeth, if you ignore the emotive language, you have given a fair summation of what is happening. Property owners believe that the rental income that they would receive from upgrading an old building will not give any return on their investment in the upgrade. But they believe that they can make a profit by building a new building on the site. It is people seeking profit which makes a city prosperous. Most of the heritage building were build in pursuit of profit.
    What are property owners meant to do when the rental from a property in its current configuration, is not enough to give a return on the cost of a required upgrade?

    • Elizabeth

      Luckily, as expressed elsewhere at this website, and in other publications and reports, the case for regeneration and adaptive reuse is strong for intelligent management of Dunedin building stock in critical locations. This activity also grows new trades and skills and a higher level of rental return when business tenants (in particular) opt for the higher level of fitout and prestige that a well adapted reconditioned / redesigned older building can offer. And further, to make our collective day . . . we have an active group of building investors sold on heritage reuse, working at scale on their building projects, at an impressive level of investment. They do so quietly, assertively and soundly financially. They don’t need to sound their trumpets, they get on with the job. Tellingly, in a tough lending environment, their banks have bought into the argument as well as the projections. I’m very happy to be measured and EMOTIVE about that.

      • Elizabeth

        I seriously question anybody who makes absurd claims about the Dunedin property investment market, and who without the necessary grasp or inside knowledge resorts to tired arguments.

  8. Peter

    I agree that Wall St probably knocked out shops elsewhere, that now remain vacant along our main streets in the CBD, but I understand that is not the only story. Some of those shops are empty because some building owners want too much rent. When there is a small group of key building owners they can conceivably form a cartel and refuse to lower high rents. Anecdotally, I’ve heard that there are people willing to open shops, but the rent is too high for them to operate. We all are then faced with the depressing scene of empty shops and this affects confidence in Dunedin’s future.
    As for the Dainty Dairy, it’s time as a dairy was probably near its end with the abundance of these down town Night and Day convenience stores that are in a handier location. However, I would have liked the building adapted, if possible. Not in the form of one of those obviously former shops, where they are made into flats with ugly curtains drawn across former shop windows to allow for understandable privacy.

  9. JimmyJones

    Elizabeth, thanks for your nice story about the courageous but modest group of Dunedin’s heritage re-users. You haven’t, however, properly answered Alistair’s question What are property owners meant to do when the rental from a property in its current configuration, is not enough to give a return on the cost of a required upgrade? . Adaptive (building) reuse might be an option sometimes, but often adaptive (land) reuse will be the best choice, as is the case with the Dainty Dairy.
    I disagree with you (and the DCC) if you think:
    – that every crappy old dairy is worth saving
    – that the decision about the dairy is any business of you or the DCC
    – that my elderly neighbour and I should be forced to subsidize an unwilling owner to adapt a building, just because you like to look at it.

    You must be familiar with these arguments. Extending Alistair’s point: building nurturement and quality of maintenance are largely a consequence of the vigour of the local economy. So if you care about other peoples buildings and a general decline in buildings, then you need to prevent economic decline. That means not interfering with other peoples businesses, and it doesn’t mean stealing money from my neighbour and me and wasting it on museum renovations, stadiums, unnecessary libraries, sports subsidies etc.

    • Elizabeth

      Don’t have to, not into debating via blogs generally – as I think shows at What if? It’s a vehicle for news, views, provocations, sympathies… if people want to debate with each other here that’s fine, they can. I don’t vote ACT.*

      *My statute of limitations.

  10. Calvin Oaten

    I think Jimmy and Alistair have very valid points here. Buildings, just like mural wall paintings, and indeed all of us, have a finite life. These can be prolonged just as long as the economic viability is there. To simply state that all must be saved regardless of that fact makes no sense whatsoever. We know that there are people in this city who are doing great things in “recycling” ‘Heritage Buildings’. But it would be hard to convince me that they do this for reasons other than extending the economic life of the projects. As Alistair Broad says ‘if there is no possible return on the investment then it is time to call it quits’. The Dainty Dairy and the Rattray St Cafe buildings fit this category exactly. Move on and create something that fits today’s needs. Trying to lock Dunedin into some sort of time warp is just crazy. The argument about the DCC actively competing (with ratepayers’ funds) in the non strategic property development and operation in competition with private developers is a whole other madness.

    • Elizabeth

      “the case for regeneration and adaptive reuse is strong for intelligent management of Dunedin building stock in critical locations” link

      Refer policy and methods: Dunedin City District Plan – Chapter 13 [includes existing legal requirements]

  11. Peter

    Jimmy, I don’t think it is that simple to completely butt out of decisions by landowners to do what they will with their land/buildings – where ‘it is no business of you or the DCC’, as you put it. To personalise things, what if the landowner next door to you decided to bowl their building and erect a larger building that blocked out your sun and that of other neighbours? Is it still his right to be not questioned or challenged – instead of perhaps seeking a compromise?
    There are town planning rules for good reasons. They prevent unsympathetic development, that may turn a better buck, but does nothing for the city as a whole as a pleasant place to live in. (It doesn’t always work, I agree, but the town landscape would be worse without any control.)
    I agree there are limits to ratepayer money going to private developers/owners. If they can’t financially maintain their buildings properly, they should sell them to people who can. People who selfishly go for demolition through neglect, and still make a capital gain through time, still need to be identified and spoken to by the council about the irresponsibility of their actions -or inactions. Not sure where you go from here when such a landowner gives the council the two fingers.

  12. JimmyJones

    Peter, I think that most Dunediners agree with some degree of town planning restrictions, but the level of intrusiveness experienced by Mr Broad goes beyond what I think is reasonable. In this case the DCC doesn’t have sufficient reason to breach Mr Broad’s property rights.
    In general, I think that an individual’s freedoms should only be restricted for extremely good reasons; one extremely good reason is to safeguard other peoples freedoms. Too many holes in the townscape doesn’t come close and shows that a big change is needed to the law and to the attitude of the DCC.
    Great Dunedin buildings have been built where not-so-great buildings used to stand. I hope this process continues.

  13. Calvin Oaten

    Peter, if your neighbour’s building was no longer fit for purpose or economic then he should have the right to bowl it. But he should not have free right to erect a replacement which does not comply with town planning rules and consultation regarding the effect on the surrounds. There is a difference.

  14. Peter

    I think at the root of the problem is the fear that what is knocked down is not replaced by something that is sympathetic to buildings near by.(Look at the black box over the road. Hideous.) It would probably help if a developer was open to outlining his plans and changing his building design, accordingly, if need be through community input. In the real world, speaking generally, you have developers with a civic conscience/pride and those who work off the calculator and don’t worry too much about the visual damage they create.
    It’s not an easy one to manage. The Municipal Town Hall, I understand, was saved by one vote on council. The plan was to knock it down and replace it with an octagonal office tower. Nice. You could argue that this may have been more economic in the long run and we could have been saved by the present costs of the redevelopment there. I’m sure most people are now thankful that demolition did not happen because the heritage value meant more to people.
    I realise the Dainty Dairy and the Barron Building are not in the same league. I personally wouldn’t lie in front of a dozer to save them as they are not high priority. However, the danger is that once we start potting off a small building here and there, creating car parks, the holes in the townscape starts to look ugly. Look at American cities where this has happened.
    Sometimes I wonder if it is just a lack of imagination where an old building is deemed past its use-by date and is not adapted to be a more economically useful building once again.

    • Elizabeth

      Add the Barron Building to the Crown Hotel on Rattray Street, to the former sites of the Bank of Australasia and what we knew as Smith City for a time (turned into car parking by Scenic Circle) on High Street, to the commercial building on the corner of High and Manse Streets, and to the buildings (technically, archaeological sites) which are very old on the north side of Rattray Street (opp The Dragon/Barron) – plus, to the lack of care deliberately going into what used to be Everybody’s Theatre (formerly Deka, now Nood) on Princes St…
      Already you see the scale ‘property investors’ are working at to erode the immediate Exchange area and protected townscape.
      All deliberate, with the use of a calculator and “public safety” as an excuse in some notable cases.
      Luckily, DCC can present developer-applicants with conditions to resource consents that include expensive bonds, to ensure new build quickly follows permitted demolition.

  15. Calvin Oaten

    Elizabeth, I take your points, but don’t the sites you highlight in Rattray St and Princes St just exemplify the argument of economic life? Would they be deteriorating if that were not the case? It is a very difficult argument, but stringent requirements of retention results in owners, if they can’t achieve a return, being forced to defer maintenance or simply cut their losses and walk away. We know Dunedin has problems of retention – forget about growth – particularly south Princes St. ‘Property Investors’ are just that, ‘no return no input’. Remember the zeal of the retention enthusiasts over the St James Theatre? Couldn’t make it happen. But when an investor could see a return and negotiated a tenant it all happened. Again, find the user with an adequate return and it will all happen. I am not being negative here, just realistic.

    • Elizabeth

      Basic building maintenance is not leaving top level windows wide open or other ‘gaps’ to allow rain and pigeons in. An old party trick in current deployment down this neck of the woods. It goes with allowing trees and plants to grow in mortar, no regular clearing of gutters and spouting, so on. Anyone so well-endowed as the current crop of ‘investors’ can afford to hire a scissor lift or boom crane with a personnnel cage to get this work done regularly – most have their own odd-job maintenance men on call. Some own construction crews/companies.

      How fast does a timber floor or building component grow biota on exposure to moisture and rain, and how soon will it rot [for ‘public safety’]. Really fun looking after buildings this way, to hasten their end and your own capital gain [from car parking]. A blessed formula.

  16. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Tue, 5 Jul 2011
    Fears for churches as hearings begin
    By David Loughrey
    Dunedin’s policy for earthquake-proofing the city’s ageing building stock will be scrutinised, amid warnings about the future of the city’s historic churches. Public hearings on a policy that could have significant ramifications for owners begin today, with a debate on whether the proposed policy is too restrictive or too permissive.

    A review of the Dunedin City Council’s 2007 policy on dangerous, insanitary and earthquake-prone buildings began last year, but took on a new urgency after the Christchurch earthquake in February. The review was completed in April, followed by public submissions, and a hearing today will consider the 23 submissions received.

    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Wed, 6 Jul 2011
      Call for policy flexibility
      By Chris Morris
      Building owners and experts want more flexibility from the Dunedin City Council as it considers a new policy to improve the earthquake resistance of Dunedin’s ageing buildings.

      Structural engineer Lou Robinson, of Hadley and Robinson Ltd, wanted incremental improvements [to building performance], but did not believe different buildings should be treated differently. Securing church gables could be enough to ensure churches met the 34% requirement, and the work could be “easy” and relatively inexpensive. Elsewhere, assessments were needed to identify which buildings needed work, rather than just focusing on securing all of George or Princes Sts, he believed.

      Read more

  17. Hype O'Thermia

    I wonder how much of the earthquake strengthening is an OTT response to a VERY unusual sequence of events in Christchurch. The up and down and shimmy shimmy shake combination challenged buildings old and new, and while taking the long view there is nowhere in NZ that cannot – will not – be affected by a huge quake some time I’m beginning to see something like the reactions to say the murder of a child by a pervert. I empathise totally with the parents who are terrified that this may happen to their child, but when you look dispassionately at the facts there were an enormous number of safe child-hours when kids play unwatched, make their own way around to school and sports. Likewise the excessive limitations on everyday freedom imposed and accepted on the grounds that the risk of terrorism can be eliminated.

    The potent danger posed by old buildings ALL the time is caused by slack or deliberate lack of maintenance, and the shocking part of that is that it’s rewarded as often as not, permission being granted to destroy the whole building because it is now “dangerous”. That’s what needs watching ahead of unaffordable regulations to eliminate all risk resulting from uncommon, unpredictable events.

    • Elizabeth

      Over top of local council-adopted policies for dangerous and or earthquake prone buildings is the New Zealand Building Act. The number of buildings historically affected in Dunedin by quake movement may surprise you. One cumulative instance – walk along the George St commercial precinct and look up, above verandah level.

      The structural engineering expertise available at Dunedin in the field of earthquake strengthening and improvement to building performance is considerable, and has direct feed into NZBA standards as they are being developed.

  18. Elizabeth

    ### ch9.co.nz March 9, 2012 – 6:47pm
    Commercial buildings to become earthquake strengthened
    All owners of commercial buildings in Dunedin are being required to check the earthquake status of their buildings. The Council announced today it has written to all affected building owners and given them two years to carry out an initial assessment on whether their building is earthquake prone. Those buildings identified as being at risk will have to be strengthened to between 34% and 67% of new building standards. Owners will have between 15 and 30 years to carry out the strengthening work, unless the use of the building changes, in which case they will have to be fixed immediately. The Earthquake-Prone Buildings Policy does not apply to residential homes unless they are in a two-storey or more apartment block.
    Link

    • Elizabeth

      ### ODT Online Tue, 13 Mar 2012
      Building owners being notified of policy
      The Dunedin City Council is sending letters to owners of non-residential buildings, notifying them of the requirement to have their buildings inspected for earthquake safety.
      Read more

      ****

      DCC Media Release – Early Notification for Building Owners
      This item was published on 09 Mar 2012.
      This week, the DCC will begin a mail out to owners of non-residential buildings, notifying them of the requirement to have their buildings inspected with regard to earthquake safety. Building owners have two years to get these initial assessments done so that, from the information collected, the DCC can compile a register of earthquake-prone buildings in the city. Those building owners who have already had their buildings inspected can send the information to the DCC for inclusion on the register.
      Read more

      Building Owners FAQs brochure (PDF, 56.6 KB)
      Frequently Asked Questions about the Dunedin Dangerous, Insanitary and Earthquake Prone Buildings Policy.

      Letter to Building Owners (PDF, 35.2 KB)
      This is a copy of the letter sent to building owners regarding the requirement to have an earthquake safety assessment.

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Thu, 28 Jun 2012
        Owners required to assess city buildings
        By Debbie Porteous
        A mass assessment of how Dunedin’s pre-1976 buildings would cope in an earthquake is under way. Owners of pre-1976 buildings (except single dwelling residences) on which the city council has no building strength information have been sent a letter notifying them of the requirement to have the buildings assessed.
        Read more

        • Elizabeth

          ### ODT Online Thu, 5 Jul 2012
          Owners facing dilemma over old buildings
          By Debbie Porteous
          Dunedin nonprofit organisations, trusts, clubs and community groups say earthquake strengthening is likely to force them into some harsh decisions. Under its new earthquake-prone building policy, the Dunedin City Council has sent letters to owners requiring the strength of all pre-1976 buildings in the city be assessed within two years. If buildings were below strength, owners would be given a time frame of between 15 and 30 years to have the buildings brought up to a required standard.
          Read more

          ****

          ### ODT Online Thu, 5 Jul 2012
          Shortage of structural engineers
          By Debbie Porteous
          The first difficulty faced by Dunedin building owners who need to get their buildings’ strength assessed may be finding someone to do the job. Structural engineers say there is a shortage. Most already have a waiting list of at least three months. Most are busy dealing with clients needing buildings strengthened so they can keep tenants and insurance cover. Some doubt the mass assessment of Dunedin’s non-residential building stock can be done within the two-year deadline set by the city council.
          Read more

          ****

          If you are a heritage building owner wanting to access available information that could help you conserve, strengthen and save your building, contact Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner (Heritage) phone 4774000 – or Owen Graham, NZHPT Area Manager (Otago Southland) phone 4779871.

        • Elizabeth

          After a couple of chats with colleagues, time to say how little balance ODT reporter Debbie Porteous brought to her ‘frightener’ articles today, following what was a useful editorial published on Monday, possibly written or co-written by Murray Kirkness, we hear. It may be that the Council will want to respond; we hope strongly. Not sure how Debbie got past editorial scrutiny…

        • Elizabeth

          More of same from Debs….. no balance, DCC and NZHPT not approached by reporter.

          ### ODT Online Fri, 6 Jul 2012
          City churches facing ‘double nightmare’
          By Debbie Porteous
          As various religious denominations make plans to have the structural strength of their historic Dunedin churches assessed, some are already preparing for the worst.
          Read more

  19. Hype O'Thermia

    It’s a hard one. I’ll bet if the earthquake regs had been hardened up in Christchurch pre-quakes the heritage buildings would have been seen as the responsibility of the owners, churches the responsibility of the congregation. Now they’re gone they’re grieved for by people who never went near a church, or never “that” church, unless for weddings and funerals.
    So when the chips are down, along with the masonry, heritage of one’s town is OUR heritage. Not everyone cares but so what – not everyone cares about museums and art galleries, as Fubar Stadium fans point out, and a great many people aren’t impressed by professional sport ethics and demands on the public purse but elite sports keep getting gold plated handouts so they can “put NZ on the map” – for a brief instant. Unlike interesting towns with beautiful, or quirky/stylish buildings, examples of industries long gone (gasworks museum) or just plain old examples of what it was like way back then to keep us in touch with who we are and who our today-selves sprang from.
    Doesn’t this make the use of public funds – rates, taxes, POKIES!!! – reasonable, to permit the owners in name, for now, to keep the buildings for those who will benefit from their existence for a long long time in the future, long after the names of Olympic medal winners have been forgotten and only sports anoraks can still recite who won which rugby or cricket match in bygone years?

    • Elizabeth

      Well said, Hype O’Thermia.
      Yesterday in discussing the local Old Boys’ rorting tied to ORFU, pokies, and the upcoming defamation case… (all related as discussed by contributors to What if?) – we said, ‘what if’ all the millions that were rorted had been spent on historic heritage, health, etc… in our dreams!

      • Elizabeth

        See new post:
        NZHPT Open Lecture: WIN CLARK

        The New Zealand Historic Places Trust is bringing its consultant structural engineer, Mr Win Clark (Executive Officer for the NZ Society of Earthquake Engineering) to Dunedin in July. Win will be presenting a public talk at the Otago Museum entitled ‘Can Earthquake Prone Buildings be Strengthened? Yes they can!’

  20. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Sep 2012
    Funding or Knox may close
    By Vaughan Elder
    The head of the commission which governs Knox College says the historic Dunedin residential hall might have to close unless $10.8 million of funding for earthquake-strengthening and extension work planned over the summer break is raised. This comes after the 103-year-old Knox College’s main building was rated at less than 20% of new building standard (NBS) for earthquake strength “three or four years” ago. Any building rated less than 34% of NBS is classified “earthquake prone”.

    The strengthening work, which would also include fire protection, was expected to cost about $6 million and would raise the earthquake standard of the building to at least 67% of NBS. In order to fund the strengthening work it was also planned to increase the capacity of Knox College and Salmond College, which is also owned by the Presbyterian Church, by a total of 68 rooms, costing about $5 million more.

    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      CORRECTION to ODT story – The cost of earthquake proofing at Knox is about $2m; the cost of fire protection is the greater part of the $5m cited in the report above. TALK ABOUT MIS-REPORTING….”LET’S PANIC READERS AND ALL OLD BUILDING OWNERS WHY DON’T WE,” SAYS ODT.

      Let’s face it, $2m for improving the building performance of such a large complex is darned reasonable!

      • Elizabeth

        ### ODT Online Sat, 22 Sep 2012
        Councils to align on quake policy
        By Debbie Porteous
        Otago councils have agreed to investigate a joint approach to deal with earthquake-prone buildings. It was agreed at a recent mayoral forum that Otago’s six councils would share their knowledge and practices regarding earthquake-prone buildings and look at ways to better align local policies and approaches to working with building owners.
        Read more

        *Incorrect attribution. Glen Hazelton, mentioned in the story, is DCC’s Policy Planner (Heritage).

  21. Elizabeth

    ### ODT Online Wed, 3 Oct 2012
    Earthquake assessment on backpackers
    By Rosie Manins
    An earthquake stability assessment is being conducted on Stafford Gables, a 110-year-old villa operated as a backpackers by the Youth Hostel Association of New Zealand (YHA). The 22-bedroom property in Stafford St remains on the market as Colliers International agents deal with potential buyers. It was subject to sale by a deadline treaty, which closed on Friday. Agent Bill Brown said several potential buyers had shown interest, subject to clarification of the building’s earthquake susceptibility.
    Read more

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