Reassuring clients

Building on quake prone list ‘but not a priority’.

Building on quake prone list ‘but not a priority’.

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Little Hair Shop co-owner Kim Travers in front of the hair salon on Gladstone Road he and his wife Dizzy have owned for 22 years. Mr Travers is upset the business and building it occupies was named in an article on buildings in The Gisborne Herald on Tuesday. The building’s owner must engage a structural engineer to determine whether the building meets the required percentage of the New Building Standard. Picture by Paul Rickard

A business owner is upset his hair salon was named in a list of buildings under the headline “Comply Or Close” in last Tuesday’s Gisborne Herald.

Little Hair Shop owner Kim Travers wants to tell his clients they are safe because many have been asking him if they are since the article was printed.

“We don’t want our clients worried about coming in,” he said.

The article stated up to 20 buildings in the city centre faced “potential closure” unless they met new earthquake strengthening standards.

It is up to every building owner who has been issued with a notice by the Gisborne District Council that their building is earthquake prone to engage a structural engineer to determine whether their building meets the required percentage of the New Building Standard (NBS), which is 33 percent or more.

“If that assessment comes back at over 33 percent NBS then the building is not earthquake prone. Only an engineer can assess this,” said council building services manager Ian Petty.

The six-month timeframe was from a comment made by Mayor Meng Foon, not the council.

The council was working with building owners on a “case-by-case” basis, and owners could seek an extension to carry out the work, said Mr Petty.

Mr Travers said like most businesses in town, it was hard enough during these economic times without having the local paper print the building his business was in could close within six months.

The Little Hair Shop, owned by Mr Travers and his wife Dizzy for 22 years, was not one of those buildings that could close within that timeframe, he said.

Building owner responsible for structural assessment

GDC has put a laminated A4 sign in the shopfront window of the hair salon to say it was an earthquake prone building but “not a priority building”.

Mr Petty said a priority building was one that posed a risk to the public if there were parts that could fall on to pedestrian paths or block access for essential disaster recovery vehicles.

“This particular building has no parapets that threaten the footpath.”

GDC followed a legal process by fixing the notices to the buildings.

“This building was identified as an earthquake prone building using the identification criteria in 2010.”

Mr Petty said it was the building owner’s responsibility to engage a structural engineer to assess the building and a shorter timeframe could apply to buildings where there had been no contact from the owner.

“Ultimately how a building is dealt with will be a decision before the council’s environmental planning and regulations committee,” he said.

You could be eligible for partial funding:

  • There is one category A, and seven category B, heritage buildings on the list of buildings identified as earthquake prone by Gisborne District Council.
  • The council says there has to be “significant” heritage values to qualify for funding.
  • Building owners who think they may have a heritage status building are encouraged to look online www.heritageequip.govt.nz to see if they meet the criteria.
  • Criteria includes whether the building is privately owned, has been classed as earthquake prone, has heritage value and the owner wants to seismically strengthen all, or part, of it so it is no longer considered earthquake prone.
  • Funding applications are assessed three times a year, with upcoming rounds closing on March 22 and July 29.

A business owner is upset his hair salon was named in a list of buildings under the headline “Comply Or Close” in last Tuesday’s Gisborne Herald.

Little Hair Shop owner Kim Travers wants to tell his clients they are safe because many have been asking him if they are since the article was printed.

“We don’t want our clients worried about coming in,” he said.

The article stated up to 20 buildings in the city centre faced “potential closure” unless they met new earthquake strengthening standards.

It is up to every building owner who has been issued with a notice by the Gisborne District Council that their building is earthquake prone to engage a structural engineer to determine whether their building meets the required percentage of the New Building Standard (NBS), which is 33 percent or more.

“If that assessment comes back at over 33 percent NBS then the building is not earthquake prone. Only an engineer can assess this,” said council building services manager Ian Petty.

The six-month timeframe was from a comment made by Mayor Meng Foon, not the council.

The council was working with building owners on a “case-by-case” basis, and owners could seek an extension to carry out the work, said Mr Petty.

Mr Travers said like most businesses in town, it was hard enough during these economic times without having the local paper print the building his business was in could close within six months.

The Little Hair Shop, owned by Mr Travers and his wife Dizzy for 22 years, was not one of those buildings that could close within that timeframe, he said.

Building owner responsible for structural assessment

GDC has put a laminated A4 sign in the shopfront window of the hair salon to say it was an earthquake prone building but “not a priority building”.

Mr Petty said a priority building was one that posed a risk to the public if there were parts that could fall on to pedestrian paths or block access for essential disaster recovery vehicles.

“This particular building has no parapets that threaten the footpath.”

GDC followed a legal process by fixing the notices to the buildings.

“This building was identified as an earthquake prone building using the identification criteria in 2010.”

Mr Petty said it was the building owner’s responsibility to engage a structural engineer to assess the building and a shorter timeframe could apply to buildings where there had been no contact from the owner.

“Ultimately how a building is dealt with will be a decision before the council’s environmental planning and regulations committee,” he said.

You could be eligible for partial funding:

  • There is one category A, and seven category B, heritage buildings on the list of buildings identified as earthquake prone by Gisborne District Council.
  • The council says there has to be “significant” heritage values to qualify for funding.
  • Building owners who think they may have a heritage status building are encouraged to look online www.heritageequip.govt.nz to see if they meet the criteria.
  • Criteria includes whether the building is privately owned, has been classed as earthquake prone, has heritage value and the owner wants to seismically strengthen all, or part, of it so it is no longer considered earthquake prone.
  • Funding applications are assessed three times a year, with upcoming rounds closing on March 22 and July 29.

District Council information about some of the bigger buildings in the CBD

  • The Rockforte building on the corner of Grey Street and Gladstone Road has an earthquake prone building notice that expires in September 2022. District council building services manager Ian Petty said the deadline for the Rockforte building was still a few years away and they expected to hear from the owner in due course.
  • The Masonic building on the corner of Lowe Street and Gladstone Road had an assessment that showed it was not earthquake prone and was taken off the register.
  • The T&G building, on another corner of Grey Street and Gladstone Road, has also been taken off the register as it had an assessment that showed that it was over the minimum 33 percent New Building Standard required.

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