The continued response of the New Zealand Government to the Canterbury earthquakes
The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010 and 2011 caused significant damage and disruption to the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. A Royal Commission was established to report on the causes of building failure as a result of the earthquakes as well as look at the legal and best-practice requirements for buildings in New Zealand Central Business Districts. The Royal Commission made 189 recommendations on a variety of matters including managing damaged buildings after an earthquake, the adequacy of building codes and standards, and the processes of seismic assessments of existing buildings to determine their earthquake vulnerability. In response the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the agency responsible for administering building regulation in New Zealand, established a work programme to assist with the Canterbury rebuild and to implement the lessons learned throughout New Zealand. The five primary work streams in the programme are: • Facilitating the Canterbury Rebuild • Structural Performance and Design Standards • Geotechnical and structural guidance • Existing Building Resilience • Post Disaster Building Management This paper provides more detail on each of the work streams. There has been significant collaboration between the New Zealand Government and the research community, technical societies, and engineering consultants, both within New Zealand and internationally, to deliver the programme and improve the resilience of the New Zealand built environment. This has presented major challenges for an extremely busy industry in the aftermath of the Canterbury earthquakes. The paper identifies the items of work that have been completed and the work that is still in progress at the time of writing.