9 August 2011
Quake Commission Releases First Technical Report
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch has released its first technical report.
Briefing material prepared by the Department of Building and Housing has been published on the technical papers section of the Commission’s website. The material summarises the general system of building controls prior to 1991 but not how the system was applied locally by Christchurch City Council. The Commission has requested that information from the Council directly.
The report also covers the current building regulatory system in four main sections:
1. The building regulatory system.
2. The development of seismic design and standards
3. The Building Act 2004 provisions for upgrading of the structural performance of buildings
4. Post earthquake assessment of buildings
The report also refers to the departmental investigation into the CTV, PGC, Hotel Grand Chancellor and Forsyth Barr buildings.
The briefing material was provided to the Commission early in its inquiry. The Commission is now publishing the material in line with its overall approach of publishing technical material it receives.
The Commission’s inquiry is well underway. It is gathering information from anyone who has relevant information about how the buildings collapsed. This includes reports produced by other organisations as well as technical reports it has commissioned from leading New Zealand and international technical experts.
All these reports will be published on the Commission’s website. This will make the contents contestable in the Commission’s hearings. People who have lodged an Expression of Interest will be able to refer to these reports when making their submissions.
Under the Commissions of Inquiry Act the Commission has extensive powers to investigate including the power to require the provision of information and to summons witnesses. Only the Commission has these powers.
About the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch was established in response to the building failure and loss of life caused by the Canterbury earthquake on February 2011.
A Royal Commission is the most serious response available to the New Zealand Government. Under the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908 it has extensive powers to investigate including the power to require the provision of information and to summons witnesses.
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission is chaired by sitting High Court judge Justice Mark Cooper. The other two Commissioners are University of Auckland Associate Professor Richard Fenwick and Sir Ron Carter.
The Commission will provide an interim report by 11 October 2011 and a final report no later than 11 April 2012.
Senior Communications Advisor
Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
Phone +64 3 7413004 or +64 21 621 656