Will the earthquake rating for Auckland apartments change?


It is highly unlikely that they will lower or raise the earthquake ratings from the current 34% as pass and 33% is not. This is due to the government lowering the risk and keeping the occupants of the building safe.

Is the 34% benchmark going to change? In short, no I don’t believe so and the reason is because of the opinions of others from the professionals like structural engineers and those in the industry who know.

What the strength indicators means, is that if the building is 34% rated, it means that it is one-third as strong as a new build. To ensure the safety of the occupants within the building it is highly unlikely that the benchmark will change.


Good day, Andrew Murray from the Apartment Specialists. I will be talking about earthquake ratings. Are they going to change?

The benchmark is 34%. Is it going to go up or is it going to go down? And the short answer is, no. You're probably thinking, "Well how do you know? You just sell apartments." Well, yes I live and breathe selling apartments, but you're right, I can't say this is from myself.

This is from me speaking to structural engineers and to people in this industry - in the building industry and asking their opinions. So, this is the opinions they've given me. I'm obviously passing that on to you. I do a lot of research to help me understand the market as well as, obviously, give the right advice to owners.

Basically what they sort of made me aware of is, that every 1% that earthquake rating changes, it costs the country about $700 million. That's a lot. It's being at 33% now means that 34% or higher is a pass. To raise that, every percent is going to cost a huge amount of money.

Now, another question I get asked is the earthquake rating going to go down? For example, 33% mark which could fail.  You think that could go down 20%? Now, from the research, I've done is that is extremely unlikely because this earthquake rating - to help you understand , it says 33% and that means it's 33%.

The strength is in regard to a new building, so it means it's one-third as strong as a new building and that's built today in an earthquake zone. That also means is that because earthquakes work definitely—a building in an earthquake prone area.  It's like if we’re saying an average earthquake, and that is at 33% compared to a brand new building, it will have ten times the damage. So for the council or the governing body to lower that, is to put people at risk, especially with apartments when they live in them.

So, for them to take that mark and bring it down, I highly doubt it because that would go against why they’ve actually put in these limitations in the first place. A bad earthquake rating or a failed earthquake rating, it’s bad news and it’s not good for many reasons. A lot of banks won’t even finance an apartment in a building with a low rating. It's in a nutshell and I can’t see it changing, it’s a 33% mark, 34’s a pass, and obviously, the higher the better.

Thank you. Andrew Murray, Apartment Specialists.

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Will the earthquake rating for Auckland apartments change?