Identifying potentially Earthquake-prone buildings


The Horowhenua District has been identified as a high risk area in New Zealand, and therefore in the high seismic zone. Horowhenua District Council is administering the process of identifying earthquake-prone buildings on behalf of central government and want to help building owners through the process.

 The methodology to identify earthquake-prone buildings includes more information.

What does this mean?

Under the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings (EPB) Council must:

  • identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings, notify and request the building owners to obtain engineering assessments
  • consider engineering assessments provided by building owners
  • determine if a building is earthquake prone, and if it is, assign an earthquake rating
  • issue EPB notices to owners of earthquake-prone buildings and ensure EPB notices are attached to the building
  • publish information about earthquake-prone buildings on the National EPB register.

Knowing and understanding the system for managing earthquake-prone buildings is important for everyone. The focus of the system is protecting people from harm in an earthquake.

The managing Earthquake-prone buildings section of the the Managing Buildings website, includes more information.  

As an owner of a potentially earthquake-prone building find out more information on the Managing Buildings website.

When will Council start profiling potential EPBs?

Council has started the profiling of buildings in the identified priority areas.  Profiling of other buildings will commence in 2020.

What happens if my building is identified as a potential EPB?

If the Council has identified your building as a potential EPB we will advise you of the decision. You'll then need to contact an engineer to organise either an Initial Seismic Assessment (ISA) or a Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) to meet the new EPB Methodology.

You'll have twelve months from when Council contacted you to supply this report.  You may apply for an Extension of Time within 10 months of notification by completing the Application Form titled:  Application for time extension to provide engineering assessment

Who is competent to undertake an engineers assessment?

For guidance on who can undertake an engineers assessment visit the Managing Buildings website.

What are the timeframes for identifying and strengthening in the high seismic zone?

The timeframes for the high seismic zone are;

Seismic risk area TAs must identify potentially earthquake-prone buildings by: Owners of earthquake-prone buildings must carry out seismic work within (time from issue of EPB notice):
 Priority  Other  Priority Other
High  1 January 2020  1 July 2022  7.5 years 15 years

Find more information on priority buildings on the Managing Buildings website.

There are two categories of ratings for earthquake-prone buildings prescribed in the regulations. These categories determine which form of EPB notice is issued by Council:

  • 0% to less than 20%
  • 20% to less than 34%

Once the Council issues and attaches the appropriate EPB Notice it must be displayed in a prominent place on or adjacent to the building.