​​​​​Proposed Strategic Routes - Earthquake Prone Buildings

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Issued 19 February 2019
Submissions CLOSED on Tuesday 19 March 2019

​What is being proposed?

The Government has amended the Building Act 2004 so that territorial authorities address the risk posed by Earthquake Prone Buildings (EPBs) in a timely manner.  

As part of that process, all Councils must identify earthquake prone buildings and Strategic Routes within their District. And under legislation Councils also need to consult with their communities in relation to the Strategic Routes they have identified. 

​What is a Strategic Route?

A Strategic Route is a thoroughfare with sufficient vehicular and pedestrian traffic, where there are parts of Unreinforced Masonry buildings that could fall in an earthquake.


In central business districts, suburban centres and provincial centres:

Emergency routes

1) Routes likely to be used by emergency services in:

a) transiting from their bases to areas of need in a major emergency where there are no alternative routes available, or

2) Transiting to central services such as hospitals, where there are no alternative routes available.

​​What is Council consulting on?

Routes identified as being potentially strategic

​Using the above criteria, Council has identified all the streets in the Greymouth CBD as being potentially Strategic Routes. Please refer to the following map.

Map of proposed strategic routes​ (PDF, 3MB)

Council is satisfied that each of the streets has one or more potentially unreinforced masonry buildings with the potential to fall in an earthquake and, in the process, pose a threat to vehicles and pedestrians and can block routes for emergency vehicles.

​Why is this an ​issue?

In a major event, parts of unreinforced masonry buildings may fall on pedestrians and traffic or block routes used by emergency vehicles. Council needs to make an objective identification of what, in fact, represents Strategic Routes for this purpose and Council invites residents, building owners, emergency service providers and any other interested or affected party to assist in identifying the Strategic Routes and the associated priority buildings. 

​This identification process is a legal requirement which Councils must implement by January 2020. 

What are the implications?

The focus of the change in legislation is to ensure that ‘normal access’ along the Strategic Routes is as safe as possible in the event of an earthquake. 

This will also mean that earthquake prone buildings along Strategic Routes become ‘priority buildings’ for purposes of the Act and will have a shorter timeframe to bring their building up to required seismic standards. Unreinforced masonry buildings on Strategic Routes must, within 12 months from being identified to be on a Strategic Route, provide Council with an appropriate seismic resilience assessment (a Detailed Engineering Assessment issued by a Chartered Professional Structural Engineer). 

Following the focus on buildings on the Strategic Routes, Council will then shift their focus to other potential earthquake prone buildings within the District.

​​​Have your say 

​We want to hear from you. Residents, building owners, emergency service providers and any other interested or affected parties are invited to have their say and to assist in identifying the Strategic Routes and the associated priority buildings. 

  • Do you agree that the focus on CBD streets as the only Strategic Routes in the District is correct? 

  • Are there any good reasons why one or more of such streets should not be deemed Strategic?

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

  • Council submission form – online or paper

  • ​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. Council will hear and consider submissions at a meeting after the close-off date (most likely the April 2019 meeting).

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

Submissions close at 5pm on Tuesday 19 March 2019.


Page reviewed: 21 Mar 2019 4:37pm