Earthquake Prone Building Report

25 January 2024

Eketāhuna Library identified as an earthquake prone building

The national system for managing earthquake-prone buildings in New Zealand came into effect in July 2017.  Council has been ensuring independent seismic assessments are undertaken on all priority buildings in the district.

The report for Eketāhuna Library has confirmed this is an earthquake prone building.  A notice advising building users will be placed on the front of the building this week.  The notice at the entrance alerts the public but does not mean the building is now unsafe to enter.

The report has specifically revealed the south (brick) wall, may be at risk of failing in the event of a significant earthquake.  This appears to be a potential impact to ‘staff only’ areas of the building.

In line with obligations as the building owner, Council have carefully worked through a risk assessment and made the decision to keep the building open at this stage.

Council remains committed to fulfilling any seismic strengthening requirements well within the legally mandated timeframes.   We are awaiting preliminary designs and associated costings for the required work that may be required to remedy the issue identified with this wall before making any further decisions.

In the short term, the priority is to keep the library and service centre open while keeping staff and visitors as safe as possible.  To that end Council will ensure in the short-term that access to the higher risk area continues to be restricted and/or any other mitigations that may be necessary to ensure the associated risks are managed.