Two Kāpiti council-owned buildings identified as potentially earthquake-prone

An assessment of seven council-owned buildings in Kāpiti has identified two in Ōtaki that are potentially earthquake-prone.

They are the Ōtaki Civic Theatre and Ōtaki Museum, both in Main Street.

Being potentially earthquake-prone doesn’t mean a building shouldn’t be occupied. It means a structural engineer has identified a potential problem.

The council has commissioned more detailed engineering investigations on both buildings, which will be undertaken within the next month.

Property Services Manager Crispin Mylne says the council, as the building owner, has an obligation to inform stakeholders and the public as soon as it has information that could potentially relate to safety.

“In reality there is no greater risk in using these buildings than there was a week or month ago. But people have a right to know that the building they are entering, or are in close proximity to, may be an earthquake risk.”

Mr Mylne says while the council awaits the detailed engineering reports it has placed notices on the buildings and talked to tenants and regular users.

The council has also engaged Spencer Holmes property engineers to carry out assessments on the five other of its buildings.

This is ahead of a district-wide evaluation of about 1500 buildings by its Regulatory Team to be carried out over the next five years.

“We wanted to take a lead on managing any buildings that were assessed as earthquake-prone so we could help council develop policies around risk management,” Mr Mylne says.