The Government has announced further progress on its response to the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission's final report and recommendations.  The report contained 189 recommendations and the Government has adopted a staged approach in responding, given that many recommendations would require changes in law, changes in how professional bodies operate, and significant research.

The Royal Commission was established following the earthquakes to investigate buildings in the Christchurch CBD and the adequacy of current legal and best-practice requirements for the design, construction and maintenance of buildings in CBDs in New Zealand.  The Government has accepted the overall conclusions of the report and this updated response follows the Government's acceptance of 70 recommendations in August 2012.

Hon Maurice Williamson, Minister for Building and Construction, gave an indication of work currently underway as part of MBIE's multi-year work programme to implement the recommendations, including:

  • Developing a new policy for dealing with earthquake-prone buildings.  MBIE is reviewing submissions made in response to initial proposals and the new policy will be announced later in 2013.
  • Revision of the Building Code regarding the structural performance of buildings.
  • Updating standards for concrete and steel structures.

Implementation of the recommendations will require changes to legislation, such as the Building Act 2004.  For the Royal Commission's full report, see here.