Can regulatory intervention be successful? Review of the Unreinforced Masonry Securing Fund (2020)
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This research investigates performance of the Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund (URM Fund) that was established under the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery (Unreinforced Masonry Buildings) Order 2017. This analysis contributed to the post implementation review of the Order in Council (Order) to inform MBIE about the effectiveness of the regulatory design and implementation of the URM building policy and the securing fund. The Order targeted street-facing URM buildings in areas with high pedestrian and vehicular traffic within Hurunui, Hutt City, Marlborough and Wellington where risk from falling facades and parapets was the greatest. The Order empowered these four territorial authorities to issues notices under section 124 of the Building Act 2004 (modified under the Order) to require work to secure parapets and/or facades, giving building owners 12 months to carry out the work. In February 2018, the Order was amended to extend the time to complete securing work by six months, until September 2018. Review of the administrative data showed that the implementation of the URM Order was successful. As a result of the Order, 188 out of 189 buildings that have been issued with section 124 notices (under the Building Act) have been proven to be secure or were secured. Collectively, building owners and the government spent approximately $13 million on securing street-facing URM elements to ensure life safety of the public. The Order required significant resources to warrant success since its implementation would set the tone how for how local councils manage the wider EQPB programme.
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