Carterton District Council is working with our local property owners to maintain and promote adherence to the Building Act provisions concerning earthquake-prone buildings.

Earthquake risk reduction is a priority in New Zealand for successive governments through the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Enterprise [MBIE], which includes an Earthquake-Prone Buildings Register.

The Register is available online at

The Building Act 2004 required all councils in New Zealand to adopt policies regarding earthquake-prone buildings by 31 May 2006. In those policies, councils had discretion to designate their own timeframes for seismic strengthening.

In 2006, Council undertook the required initial assessment to identify earthquake-prone buildings within three months of the policy being adopted. Since then, Council has sent template letters at various stages to the affected building owners outlining their requirements to comply with legislation, and potential timeframes in which to achieve this.

In 2017, following a change in the Building Act 2004 the Council was required to issue new Notices under s 133AL of the Act.  The Council’s s 133AL Notices referenced the earlier s 124 Notices (issued in 2016), but failed to carry over the deadline for completion of the seismic work.

Because of this, Council has sought a declaratory judgment from the High Court to confirm the validity of the S 133AL Notices and the deadline for completion of seismic work.

The Court judgment will help determine the Councils next steps of the process.

Geoff Hamilton, Chief Executive of Carterton District Council, said the application to the courts was  to seek clarification on when building owners need to comply with legislation, and the role Council will play in this process.

“We are working with building owners to help them meet their obligations under the Building Code and Council’s regulatory requirements. Legislation does provide measures, but we want to work together to deliver the best outcome for everyone,” Mr Hamilton said.

“The safety of our community and visitors is the primary issue, as well as supporting the affected building owners. It’s vital businesses and building owners continue with measures such as keeping their warning stickers visible.”

The Building Performance website,, has further information on the Register and its supporting methodologies.