Left Bank Art Gallery Building Earthquake Strengthening

Council funding of required earthquake strengthening works to the Left Bank Art Gallery building

Dated at GREYMOUTH on 15 March 2017

Submissions close on 30 March 2017


1. Background

Council has been evaluating the status of the buildings under its control which are earthquake prone, most notably occupied buildings such as the History House building and the Left Bank Art Gallery building.

In February 2017 Council shut the History House building for the safety of its staff and the general public after an engineering report confirmed it was only 10% of NBS (new building standard). The minimum national compliance rate is 34% NBS.

Following the closure of the History House building, Council turned their attention to the other occupied Council owned building - the Left Bank Art Gallery building which is leased to the West Coast Society of the Arts Incorporated (WCSA). A structural engineer was asked to re-evaluate the building and they have confirmed an earlier assessment of just 15-25% of NBS.

When the initial assessment was done, Council suspended the occupation of the building by the WCSA but after Council tied down the parapets on the top of the building which addressed the immediate risk (especially to the public outside of the building), the WSCA re-occupied the building.

With the earthquake prone building status reconfirmed, Council must act to ensure they meet their responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.

2. What are the options?

Council considered two options at their meeting on Monday 13 March 2017:

​Option 1​To temporarily suspend the lease and fund the required earthquake strengthening works on the building to bring it to a minimum of 34% NBS.
​Option 2​To cancel the lease with immediate effect and determine the future of the building.

Option 2 was not considered practicable as it could be deemed a breach of the contract Council has with the WCSA. Instead Council were in favour of Option 1, which allows Council to meet its contractual and statutory responsibilities and provides for the future of the building and the WCSA. It was decided that the matter be put out for public consultation.

3. Should Council fund the required earthquake strengthening works?

The cost of bringing the Left Bank Art Gallery building up to the 34% of NBS is estimated at $330,000. If the WCSA were required to fund the upgrade as part of their lease conditions, it would add approximately $30,000 to their annual costs. The WCSA are not able to pay this additional amount, however Council cannot continue to let the building be occupied without it being upgraded.

Council can pay for the required earthquake strengthening works by borrowing $330,000 and repaying it over 20 years. This will cost ratepayers approximately $30,000 per year (on average around $4.50 per ratepayer per year). This allows the future of the building and WCSA to be secured and retains an important period building in our CBD.

4. Have your say

We want to know if you think Council should loan fund the required earthquake prone strengthening works on the Left Bank Art Gallery Building.

Council will consider all submissions after the closing date and make a final decision. This will take place at a meeting in April.

All submissions must be in writing. We will accept submissions in the following format:

  • Council submission form – online or paper
  • Email to submissions@greydc.govt.nz
  • Written submissions posted to Grey District Council, PO Box 382, Greymouth or hand delivered to 105 Tainui Street, Greymouth

You are welcome to address Council in person on your submission – if you wish to do this, please clearly indicate this in your submission.

Every submission made to the Council will be acknowledged in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002, copied and made available to the public.

Due to the urgency of this matter, the submission period in this instance is two weeks only. Submissions close at 5pm on Thursday 30 March 2017.


Online Submission Form: Left Bank Art Gallery Building Earthquake Strengthening

Do you wish to be heard in support of your submission?
Should Council fund the required earthquake strengthening works for the Left Bank Art Gallery building?
Page reviewed: 15 Mar 2017 2:02pm