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Proposal 8


Exemptions and time extensions

Proposal 8: Certain buildings could be exempted or be given longer time to strengthen, e.g., low-use rural churches or farm buildings with little passing traffic.
Some earthquake-prone buildings are used infrequently by small numbers of people and are located well away from passers-by. In these cases, the costs of strengthening might be unreasonable in relation to the risks to life and safety they present. Examples might include farm sheds, small rural community halls or rural churches.
It is proposed that owners of some specified types of buildings will be able to apply to local authorities for exemptions or extensions to the time required to strengthen or demolish them if they are assessed as being earthquake-prone.
Criteria to allow local authority decide on exemptions or extensions would be set in law. Possible criteria are:
• The building is used only by the owner, or by persons directly employed by the owner, on an occasional or infrequent basis
• The building is used only occasionally (less than eight hours per week), and by less than 50 people at any one time
AND in each circumstance above:
  • All users are notified that the building is likely to collapse in a moderate earthquake; and
  • The building is not a dwelling
  • The building is not a school or hospital and does not have a post-disaster recovery function
  • There is no risk of the building partially or fully collapsing onto a public walkway, transport route or a neighbouring building or public amenity
  • Effective mitigation measures have been put in place to protect building users from the risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake.
The Royal Commission recommends that the legislation should exempt seldom-used buildings located where their failure in an earthquake would be most unlikely to cause loss of life or serious injury to passers-by. (Recommendation 90, Vol.4, Final Report)

Questions:

18. Should the owners of certain specified types of earthquake-prone buildings be able to apply to local authorities for exemptions or time extensions to the requirement to strengthen or demolish?
19. If yes, what are your views on the following possible criteria:
  • he building is used only by the owner, or by persons directly employed by the owner, on an occasional or infrequent basis
  • The building is used only occasionally (less than eight hours per week) and by less than 50 people at any one time
AND in each circumstance above:
  • All users are notified that the building is likely to collapse in a moderate earthquake
  • The building is not a dwelling
  • The building is not a school or hospital and does not have a post-disaster recovery function
  • There is no risk of the building partially or fully collapsing onto a public walkway, transport route or a neighbouring building or public amenity
  • Effective mitigation measures have been put in place to protect building users from the risk of collapse in a moderate earthquake?

Comments

Kate said…
Right. Questions/ comments of my own:
1. Does God own churches? If so, could He delegate his authority in applying to local authorities?
2. Could 'mitigation measures' include hiding under pews?*
3. Do clergy 'employ' their congregation?
4a. If only the first fifty parishioners get a seat, will it increase Sunday attendance?
4b. Is it moral to have a competition to increase church attendance?
* where have all the pews gone?
Kelvin Wright said…
1. Yes. He has, modesty forbids me from saying whom he has chosen for this particular task.
2.Good idea. Or hard hats in liturgical colours.
3. No. Neither the other way around. By law, clergy are not employees (seriously) they are deemed to work for God.
4a.depends on the seat. If we increase competition for back seats your plan would work. But not for the front ones.
4b. Lucky pew? your number comes up and you get a toaster? Might work....

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