I Would Have To Agree…

27 Feb

Sycamore’s comments regarding earthquake standards are correct in my view.

“I am not against any sort of legislation but nobody knows when and if there will be another earthquake. Where do you start and where do you stop?”

As for Mr Williamson

“You better tell the councillors to stop blaming the Government, we have not closed them. It’s not the Government that has gone mad.”

Mr Williamson said the Government was simply enforcing a minimum standard for buildings, like a warrant of fitness for cars.

Cr Sycamore’s analogy of the risk of getting in cars was not valid, because those cars had to have a warrant of fitness to be on the road, just like a building had to meet the minimum standards, he said.

But a warrant of fitness won’t stop someone having a heart attack at the wheel or driving across the centre line or falling asleep.  We can’t prepare for everything.  I would far prefer we prepared for things that are more likely.  How many earthquakes do we have down here?  Compare with how many tourists drive on the wrong side of the road and the probability of that happening.  Maybe they should put some mathematicians to work and assess the risks on a more localised basis.  I would hazard a guess that statistically a tourist (or truck) causing a school bus accident would be more probable than a building falling in an earthquake and causing death.

I have two children that travel ten times a week in a bus along Bluff Road without seat belts.   Ever seen a tourist driving a campervan on Bluff Road on a windy day?  And about 1/3 of the other vehicles on the road are trucks.  You do the math.  We only go to Anderson’s Park once a year.  We go to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery more often and that’s still open.  Not much logic in any of it.  Given seat belts on buses was deemed as too costly, why has the building standards not been deemed the same?  Imagine if the petition for seat belts on buses was not fobbed off?  Legislation could have stated that all new buses have seat belts or that within five (or ten) years all buses must have them installed.  Maybe only buses that travel in areas that are over 50kmh be required to have them?  So many far more real risks are ignored while the earthquake standards absorb significant time and money.

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2 Responses to “I Would Have To Agree…”

  1. Philip.T February 27, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    The issue in Invercargill is being compounded by a complete lack of leadership in the city. Everyone is going in different directions, parks have closed Anderson Park and museum is another department so its staying open. At such times of uncertainty strong leadership is required to get all the parties together and focused on good outcomes. However we are just lurching from one thing to the next and councillors are focused on publicity and self promotion rather than sorting the issues out

  2. Realist March 7, 2014 at 12:48 pm #

    Recent NZ Statistics would knock your “hazard a guess” out the window, more so in areas with “real” quake risk. (Now a tourist causing an accident on the other hand 😉 )

    In terms of the ICC area, the ICC commissioned work quite some time ago in relation to the geotechnical status of its catchment. This concluded that there were “No known” fault rupture zones within the ICC’s boundaries (where as other areas have a number of “known” rupture zones, some significant)
    The catagory of Quake Prone (under 34%) also deals with shaking intensity which would clearly need to be taken into any “risk assessment”, if you check the paper comissioned by the ICC, it reads clearly that the the “likelyhood” of any event reaching the level to cause failure of a “quake prone” building to be 2% within a 50year period, it also states that a rupture of the alpine fault is unlikely to create the shaking intensity noted for failure.

    Recent decisions seem to have been driven by the NBS, H&S changes etc, where while both of these are important, there also needs to be sound risk assessements completed based on likelihoods etc before hitting the panic and kneejerk buttons.

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