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Te Kūiti Hospital buildings determined to be ‘earthquake prone’

17 Aug 2022, 9:57 AM

Waitomo District Council has issued earthquake-prone building notices to Te Whatu Ora-Health New Zealand Waikato for two Te Kūiti Hospital buildings determined to be ‘earthquake prone’.

Using the Earthquake-prone Building methodology (EPB methodology), an assessment was undertaken by WDC in early 2021 which found that the main wards block building and the Te Kūiti Population Health building both needed a further engineering assessment.

Te Whatu Ora Waikato recently provided an engineering assessment confirming both buildings are below the 34% threshold of the new building standard (NBS) and are therefore earthquake prone.  The main ward block building has been identified as a “priority building” – a classification for certain types of building that is likely to be needed in an emergency.

Te Kūiti Hospital’s main ward assessment was done relative to the requirements of an importance level 3 (IL3) structure while the population health building was also assessed at 20-30%NBS and was considered an importance level 2 (IL2) building.

Priority buildings need to be remediated within half the time allowed for other buildings in the same seismic risk areas.

Te Whatu Ora Waikato will now have 12 and a half years to remediate the main ward block and 25 years for the population health building to get them up to the required NBS.

Interim District Co-Director Te Whatu Ora Waikato, Chris Lowry says expert guidance has provided assurance the buildings can remain in service ahead of any upgrades.

Although the ward block and population health building would require any work to be undertaken within 12.5 and 25 years respectively, Ms Lowry says any remedial work would be a priority.

“Both buildings will be included in our seismic resilience programme which is underway this year and will undergo further investigation to inform any remedial actions. A key part of this programme is providing our staff, patients, and community with the assurance that important facilities are maintained, safe, and fit for purpose.” 

The buildings will display notices advising of their status until further investigation and any required remedial work has been carried out.

A boiler room at Te Kūiti hospital has also been identified as requiring remedial work to meet modern standards and will be included in the work programme. The building is not used by staff or patients.