The news was only out yesterday, and briefly mentioned on the news, but I have a horrible feeling that this is going to have a massive effect on New Zealand, and on Wellington in particular. Have a look at this screen grab from the Stuff website:
That’s a massive change all over – but especially for the capital. Previously we were the most risky place, with a factor of 0.32 but now that has more than doubled our risk, to 0.82 and the next most affected cities are Gisborne, Napier and Blenheim. But even somewhere like Greymouth is now ranked higher at 0.42 than we were previously. Does that mean that all our buildings need to be strengthened all over again?
That’s a rhetorical question – I don’t know the answer. If there are any seismic engineers reading this who would like to drop in an informed comment, that would be great!
My guess is that officially it will not make a difference to existing buildings, and it will apply to all new builds, but also that the insurance companies will react with even more damaging premiums to apartment owners in Wellington. Our insurance is already massively unaffordable – if it rises any more I may just have to…. actually, I don’t know what I can do.
More on this subject as it develops.