Terms of reference

Posted 01 Sep 2011 by RoyalCommission Popular
This item was posted on the Canterbury Royal Comission website - click here to view the original

 

These Terms of Reference may be downloaded below in either a Microsoft Word (DOC) or Adobe Acrobat (PDF) version or view HTML version of text below:

Download the Terms of ReferenceDOC, 8 pages, 50kb

Download the Terms of ReferencePDF, 8 pages, 20kb

Royal Commission of Inquiry into Building Failure caused by Canterbury Earthquakes

Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of New Zealand and her Other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith:

To The Honourable MARK LESLIE SMITH COOPER, of Auckland, Judge of the High Court of New Zealand; Sir RONALD POWELL CARTER, KNZM, of Auckland, Engineer and Strategic Adviser; and RICHARD COLLINGWOOD FENWICK, of Christchurch, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering:

GREETING:

Recitals

WHEREAS the Canterbury region, including Christchurch City, suffered an earthquake on 4 September 2010 and numerous aftershocks, for example—

(a) the 26 December 2010 (or Boxing Day) aftershock; and
(b) the 22 February 2011 aftershock:

WHEREAS approximately 180 people died of injuries suffered in the 22 February 2011 aftershock, with most of those deaths caused by injuries suffered wholly or partly because of the failure of certain buildings in the Christchurch City central business district (CBD), namely the following 2 buildings:

(a) the Canterbury Television (or CTV) Building; and
(b) the Pyne Gould Corporation (or PGC) Building:

WHEREAS other buildings in the Christchurch City CBD, or in suburban commercial or residential areas in the Canterbury region, failed in the Canterbury earthquakes, causing injury and death:

WHEREAS a number of buildings in the Christchurch City CBD have been identified as unsafe to enter following the 22 February 2011 aftershock, and accordingly have been identified with a red card to prevent persons from entering them:

WHEREAS the Department of Building and Housing has begun to investigate the causes of the failure of 4 buildings in the Christchurch City CBD (the 4 specified buildings), namely the 2 buildings specified above, and the following 2 other buildings:

(a) the Forsyth Barr Building; and
(b) the Hotel Grand Chancellor Building:

WHEREAS it is desirable to inquire into the building failures in the Christchurch City CBD, to establish—

(a) why the 4 specified buildings failed severely; and
(b) why the failure of those buildings caused such extensive injury and death; and
(c) why certain buildings failed severely while others failed less severely or there was no readily perceptible failure:

WHEREAS the results of the inquiry should be available to inform decision-making on rebuilding and repair work in the Christchurch City CBD and other areas of the Canterbury region:

Appointment and order of reference

KNOW YE that We, reposing trust and confidence in your integrity, knowledge, and ability, do, by this Our Commission, nominate, constitute, and appoint you, The Honourable MARK LESLIE SMITH COOPER, Sir RONALD POWELL CARTER, and RICHARD COLLINGWOOD FENWICK, to be a Commission to inquire into and report (making any interim or final recommendations that you think fit) upon (having regard, in the case of paragraphs (a) to (c), to the nature and severity of the Canterbury earthquakes)—

Inquiry into sample of buildings and 4 specified buildings

(a) in relation to a reasonably representative sample of buildings in the Christchurch City CBD, including the 4 specified buildings as well as buildings that did not fail or did not fail severely in the Canterbury earthquakes—

(i) why some buildings failed severely; and
(ii) why the failure of some buildings caused extensive injury and death; and
(iii) why buildings differed in the extent to which—

(A) they failed as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes; and
(B) their failure caused injury and death; and

(iv) the nature of the land associated with the buildings inquired into under this paragraph and how it was affected by the Canterbury earthquakes; and
(v) whether there were particular features of a building (or a pattern of features) that contributed to whether a building failed, including (but not limited to) factors such as—

(A) the age of the building; and
(B) the location of the building; and
(C) the design, construction, and maintenance of the building; and
(D) the design and availability of safety features such as escape routes; and

(b) in relation to all of the buildings inquired into under paragraph (a), or a selection of them that you consider appropriate but including the 4 specified buildings,—

(i) whether those buildings (as originally designed and constructed and, if applicable, as altered and maintained) complied with earthquake-risk and other legal and best-practice requirements (if any) that were current—

(A) when those buildings were designed and constructed; and
(B) on or before 4 September 2010; and

(ii) whether, on or before 4 September 2010, those buildings had been identified as “earthquake-prone” or were the subject of required or voluntary measures (for example, alterations or strengthening) to make the buildings less susceptible to earthquake risk, and the compliance or standards they had achieved; and

(c) in relation to the buildings inquired into under paragraph (b), the nature and effectiveness of any assessment of them, and of any remedial work carried out on them, after the 4 September 2010 earthquake, or after the 26 December 2010 (or Boxing Day) aftershock, but before the 22 February 2011 aftershock; and

Inquiry into legal and best-practice requirements

(d) the adequacy of the current legal and best-practice requirements for the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings in central business districts in New Zealand to address the known risk of earthquakes and, in particular—

(i) the extent to which the knowledge and measurement of seismic events have been used in setting legal and
best-practice requirements for earthquake-risk management in respect of building design, construction,
and maintenance; and
(ii) the legal requirements for buildings that are “earthquake-prone” under section 122 of the Building Act 2004 and associated regulations, including—

(A) the buildings that are, and those that should be, treated by the law as “earthquake-prone”; and
(B) the extent to which existing buildings are, and should be, required by law to meet requirements for the design, construction, and maintenance of new buildings; and
(C) the enforcement of legal requirements; and

(iii) the requirements for existing buildings that are not, as a matter of law, “earthquake-prone”, and do not meet current legal and best-practice requirements for the design, construction, and maintenance of new buildings, including whether, to what extent, and over what period they should be required to meet those requirements; and
(iv) the roles of central government, local government, the building and construction industry, and other elements
of the private sector in developing and enforcing legal and best-practice requirements; and
(v) the legal and best-practice requirements for the assessment of, and for remedial work carried out on, buildings after any earthquake, having regard to lessons from the Canterbury earthquakes; and
(vi) how the matters specified in subparagraphs (i) to (v) compare with any similar matters in other countries; and

Other incidental matters arising

(e) any other matters arising out of, or relating to, the foregoing that come to the Commission’s notice in the course of its inquiries and that it considers it should investigate:

Matters upon or for which recommendations required

And, without limiting the order of reference set out above, We declare and direct that this Our Commission also requires you to make both interim and final recommendations upon or for—

(a) any measures necessary or desirable to prevent or minimise the failure of buildings in New Zealand due to earthquakes likely to occur during the lifetime of those buildings; and
(b) the cost of those measures; and
(c) the adequacy of legal and best-practice requirements for building design, construction, and maintenance insofar as those requirements apply to managing risks of building failure caused by earthquakes:

Exclusions from inquiry and scope of recommendations

But, We declare that you are not, under this Our Commission, to inquire into, determine, or report in an interim or final way upon the following matters (but paragraph (b) does not limit the generality of your order of reference, or of your required recommendations):

(a) whether any questions of liability arise; and
(b) matters for which the Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery, the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority, or both are responsible, such as design, planning, or options for rebuilding in the Christchurch City CBD; and
(c) the role and response of any person acting under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, or providing any emergency or recovery services or other response, after the 22 February 2011 aftershock:

Definitions

And, We declare that, in this Our Commission, unless the context otherwise requires,—

Appointment of chairperson

And We appoint you, The Honourable MARK LESLIE SMITH COOPER, to be the chairperson of the Commission:

Power to adjourn

And for better enabling you to carry this Our Commission into effect, you are authorised and empowered, subject to the provisions of this Our Commission, to make and conduct any inquiry or investigation under this Our Commission in the manner and at any time and place that you think expedient, with power to adjourn from time to time and from place to place as you think fit, and so that this Our Commission will continue in force and that inquiry may at any time and place be resumed although not regularly adjourned from time to time or from place to place:

Information and views, relevant expertise, and research

And you are directed, in carrying this Our Commission into effect, to consider whether to do, and to do if you think fit, the following:

(a) adopt procedures that facilitate the provision of information or views related to any of the matters referred to in the order of reference above; and
(b) use relevant expertise, including consultancy services and secretarial services; and
(c) conduct, where appropriate, your own research; and
(d) determine the sequence of your inquiry, having regard to the availability of the outcome of the investigation by the Department of Building and Housing and other essential information, and the need to produce an interim report:

General provisions

And, without limiting any of your other powers to hear proceedings in private or to exclude any person from any of your proceedings, you are empowered to exclude any person from any hearing, including a hearing at which evidence is being taken, if you think it proper to do so:

And you are strictly charged and directed that you may not at any time publish or otherwise disclose, except to His Excellency the Governor-General of New Zealand in pursuance of this Our Commission or by His Excellency’s direction, the contents or purport of any interim or final report so made or to be made by you:

And it is declared that the powers conferred by this Our Commission are exercisable despite the absence at any time of any 1 member appointed by this Our Commission, so long as the Chairperson, or a member deputed by the Chairperson to act in the place of the Chairperson, and at least 1 other member, are present and concur in the exercise of the powers:

Interim and final reporting dates

And, using all due diligence, you are required to report to His Excellency the Governor-General of New Zealand in writing under your hands as follows:

(a) not later than 11 October 2011, an interim report, with interim recommendations that inform early decision-making on rebuilding and repair work that forms part of the recovery from the Canterbury earthquakes; and
(b) not later than 11 April 2012, a final report:

And, lastly, it is declared that these presents are issued under the authority of the Letters Patent of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second constituting the office of Governor-General of New Zealand, dated 28 October 1983, and under the authority of and subject to the provisions of the Commissions of Inquiry Act 1908, and with the advice and consent of the Executive Council of New Zealand.

In witness whereof We have caused this Our Commission to be issued and the Seal of New Zealand to be hereunto affixed at Wellington this 11th day of April 2011.

Witness Our Trusty and Well-beloved The Right Honourable Sir Anand Satyanand, Chancellor and Principal Knight Grand Companion of Our New Zealand Order of Merit, Principal Companion of Our Service Order, Governor-General and Commander-in-Chief in and over Our Realm of New Zealand.

ANAND SATYANAND,

Governor-General.

By His Excellency’s Command—

JOHN KEY,

Prime Minister.

Approved in Council—

REBECCA KITTERIDGE,

Clerk of the Executive Council.

SR 1983/22

Discussion

Related Items

Changes proposed to bring life to the Square

Changes proposed to bring life to the Square

Monday, 31 July 2017 12:25 p.m. by Regenerate Featured Popular
Southern Response to Step in on EQC Botched Repairs

Southern Response to Step in on EQC Botched Repairs

Monday, 26 June 2017 7:22 p.m. by Labour Featured Popular
Canterbury wellbeing data shows positive trends

Canterbury wellbeing data shows positive trends

Friday, 16 June 2017 11:52 a.m. by GovtBeehive Popular