Feddback sought on streets with quake-risk buildings
Making it a priority to earthquake strengthen buildings on the mainstreets of Waihi and Paeroa sooner rather than later could be lifesaving, says Hauraki District Mayor Toby Adams. The council is addressing how safe pedestrians will be on the main thoroughfares if a moderate-size earthquake struck, with proposals to classify some streets in its district as “busy thoroughfares” under the national earthquake-prone building system introduced in July 2017. “After the earthquakes in Canterbury in 2010-11, and most recently in Melbourne, we’ve witnessed the risk vulnerable, unreinforced masonry buildings pose to public safety and property during a moderate earthquake,” says Mayor Adams. Unreinforced masonry buildings that are earthquake-prone and are in Belmont Rd, Normanby Rd, Mackay St and Wharf St in Paeroa, and Seddon and Rosemont Sts in Waihi, would need to be brought up to earthquake building standards in 12 and half years. Buildings in less busy areas of the district have 25 years to meet the building standard for earthquake strengthening. There are no unreinforced masonry buildings in Ngatea, according to council assessments, so no busy thoroughfare classification is proposed for the Plains ward. The classification is guided by advice from the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment, which is in charge of the national earthquake-prone building system. “Before we classify these streets as busy thoroughfares, we want your feedback on whether or not you agree with the streets we’re proposing. Decisions we make now could affect you or your family so we’d like to know what you think”, says Mayor Adams. “Once we’ve decided on whether or not the district has any busy thoroughfares, we will notify affected building owners of the actions they need to take . . . ” Written feedback on the proposed “busy thoroughfares” opened on Friday, October 1, and will close on Monday, November 1. A hearing of feedback and deliberations will be held on Tuesday, November 23, in the Hauraki council chambers in Paeroa.