Council Designation of Area for Building Emergency Management
About designation and the designated area
As a result of recent weather events and in preparation for Cyclone Gabrielle, a decision to designate an area for building emergency management under the Building Act 2004 was made by the Mayor of Thames-Coromandel District in consultation with the Minister.
The decision to designate was made on 9 February 2023. It enables Council to take specific actions under the Building Act to help manage ongoing risks to people from buildings affected by flooding and land instability.
The designated area extends across the entire Thames-Coromandel District and may remain in place until 9 February 2026, unless terminated earlier.
The designation is reviewed every 90 days by Thames-Coromandel District Council to confirm that the powers conferred by the designation are required to manage the response and recovery.
Powers under a designation
Once a designated area is in place, the Building Act provides responsible persons a number of special powers that may be exercised in respect of all buildings within the designated area, including the ability to:
- enter buildings
- complete post-event assessments
- direct the evacuation of buildings
- put in place measures for protecting buildings and keeping people at a safe distance
- place notices and signs on buildings
- direct the owners of building or land to provide information
- direct works (urgent and non-urgent) to remove or reduce risks
- direct works for long-term use or occupation of a building.
Rapid Building Assessments Assessment and placards (stickers)
As part of our legal requirements in an emergency, building assessors are conducting rapid building assessments. These are an initial safety check to assess for damage, identify existing or potential hazards and assign the appropriate placards to buildings to identify any restrictions of use.
If your house has suffered damage and it hasn’t yet been assessed, please contact our Customer Service Team (07 868 0200) or email@example.com so a rapid building assessment can be carried out.
An assessed building is given either a red, yellow or white placard. These placards identify how the building is allowed to be used:
Entry is prohibited
Access to the building is either restricted and cannot be used or
you cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time or on essential business
Your building can be occupied - but it does not mean the building is not damaged.
For more information about what the placards mean for you, and for more information on MBIE's building response to the current weather events, please see North Island severe weather events 2023
If a red or yellow sticker (placard) has been placed on your building, you will need to ensure the building is safe before reoccupying it.
What happens next?
The first thing to do is to make contact with your insurer and depending on the damage, speak to a suitably qualified tradesperson or chartered professional engineer.
When beginning remediation and repair work on your building, following weather events, there are things you need to consider. It's important you follow guidance from our Council and / or insurance company, especially if your home has been issued with a red or yellow placard by a Rapid Building Assessor.
It pays to check if a building consent is required for any remedial work. Some work may be exempt from building consent.
Once work has been completed, Council inspectors may need to re-visit your house and sign off the work before the sticker can be removed from your property. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org confirm if an inspection is required.
What happens if a building owner or resident chooses to ignore Council instructions?
The Building Act sets out a number of offences and penalties for non-compliance when the Building Act powers are in place. The responsible person who has been designated for building emergency management has the powers to make decisions about non-compliance.
The powers for offences and penalties are in sections 133BR to 133BU, and 133BW and 133BX of the Building Act. The penalties include the ability for fines of between $5,000 and $200,000 to be imposed if a person intentionally fails to comply with the relevant provisions of the Building Act.
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