Earthquake Prone Buildings Upgrade

Earthquake Prone Buildings Upgrade

In August 2015 the Council decided to earthquake strengthen five public buildings so they meet New Building Standards.

The buildings to be strengthened are the Manaia and Eltham Town Halls, the Hunter Shaw Building in Patea, the Hawera Memorial Theatre and Water Tower. The Hawera Memorial Hall and Kaponga LibraryPlus were also added to this list in 2016.

The combined cost of strengthening the six buildings is estimated to be around $1- 1.5 million.

The Council has budgeted $3 million over the next 10 years to structurally upgrade Council owned earthquake prone buildings as part of its Long Term Plan.

Mayor Dunlop says the decision to temporarily close the buildings was taken after structural engineers’ reports advised they did not meet the minimum 34% New Building Standard (NBS) and were classified as earthquake prone.

“The good news was that the Hawera Water Tower was found to be structurally sound, meeting 70% NBS and would require no further strengthening work. This has minimised our costs considerably, because of all the buildings the Water Tower was the one that was potentially going to be the most expensive,” he says.

However unreinforced masonry balustrade on the Tower did present a risk of falling on people during a moderate earthquake event, and would need to be fixed, though the costs would be minimal in comparison says.


Hunter Shaw Building was closed in August 2013 after meeting only 11% of NBS

Hawera Memorial Hall April 2015 after meeting only 10% of NBS

Hawera Memorial Theatre was closed in May 2015 after meeting only 23% of NBS

Manaia Town Hall was closed in June 2015 after meeting only 11% of NBS

Eltham Town Hall was closed in August 2015 after meeting only 20% of NBS

Hawera Water Tower was closed in August 2015

Kaponga LibraryPlus was closed in August 2016 after meeting only 20% of NBS

To date the Council has assessed more than 30 of its buildings across the district and is currently assessing another 20 buildings identified as being potentially ‘at risk’ of not meeting new earthquake building standards.



Status as at Friday 4 November 2016

Hawera Water Tower

Complete and reopened

Hawera Memorial Theatre

Complete and reopened

Eltham Town Hall

Work on upgrading the building's foundations  is now complete. A Detailed Seismic Assessment  (DSA) is now being completed on the main building. While it is a timber building with a light roof, the engineers are focusing on the level of cross-beam support that would hold the building together in a shake. The DSA is expected around the end of November

Manaia Town Hall

The tender for the strengthening work is currently being advertised and closes on Friday 11 November 2016.

Hawera Community Memorial Hall

The design stage is almost complete with some minor checking on the work around the exterior pilaster columns (the same concept as the Memorial Theatre Auditorium) and some internal steel bracing. This is expected to be completed by mid-November 2016.

Hunter Shaw Building - Patea

Working with stakeholders on design including Heritage NZ and the Plunket Society in terms of their lease and any level of contribution to any capital works.

Kaponga LibraryPlus

Council has received an estimate of $100,000 to strengthen the building which includes design, consents and a 10% contingency against the capital value of the building (which is only $47,000). Options are currently being investigated for strengthening the building or possibly moving into the town hall permanently.