17 August 2011
Earthquakes Royal Commission Engages Further Experts
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch has engaged
further technical experts to assist its inquiry into building failure caused by
the Canterbury earthquakes.
In July the Commission advised it had commissioned a raft of reports from
New Zealand and international technical experts. In the last month the
Commission has engaged the services of additional experts.
Associate Professor Jason Ingham from the Department of Civil and
Environmental Engineering, University of Auckland is preparing a report with
the assistance of Professor Michael Griffith of the University of Adelaide. The
report will cover:
- Strengthening and performance of old buildings for and under earthquake
- Assessment of unreinforced masonry buildings.
Fred Turner, structural engineer for the California Seismic Safety
Commission, will also be involved with the report by professors Ingham and
Peter Smith of Spencer Holmes in Wellington is providing professional
engineering services and advice to the Commission through an analysis of
buildings and providing conclusions for the Commission’s
Smith is also preparing a report identifying the major changes that have
occurred in masonry standards over the period 1935 to 2010. These changes
include the different methods that have been used to assess the stiffness of
masonry members, methods of designing for structural actions, the minimum and
maximum reinforcement limitations, and any other issues that are important.
The intention behind the report is to enable structural engineers and or
building owners to identify potential problems in buildings built to design
standards that are now out of date. This work is restricted to masonry design
and material and workmanship standards and does not extend to non-specific
The reports will be published on the Commission’s website once they
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
Phone +64 3 7413004 or +64 21 621 656