State sector guidance on seismic risk

Cabinet has instructed the Property Management Centre of Expertise (PMCoE) to co-ordinate efforts across the public sector to assess the scope of seismic risk. PMCoE’s mandate extends across the state sector (including tertiary education institutions) and involves:

  • guidance on the assessment process that will inform decisions on any actions required to address any seismic risks
  • collation of information that will inform reporting on the scope of potential seismic issues across the portfolio, and policy development
  • help with procuring any technical assessment services required to minimise costs and administration.

PMCoE has developed a guidance document (PDF, 214 Kb) that suggest agencies (including tertiary institutions) take a risk management approach that focuses on any critical weaknesses identified by detailed assessments. 

The safety of people's lives is the prime consideration and any decisions related to how to respond (such as occupancy, level of remediation and so on) need to be based on any critical weaknesses that create risk to life safety.

Most territorial local authorities have policies related to earthquake-prone buildings and a list of these policies is available from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s website.

What does this mean for tertiary education institutions?

Tertiary education institutions should continue to evaluate all structures under their management (leased and owned) for seismic risk.

We will co-ordinate collection of high-level data on seismic risk.

Questions or comments on seismic risk and assessment can be sent to

Guide to prioritising assessment of seismic risk for occupied buildings

(Click on picture for a larger image)

  • Last changed: 6 July 2015
  • Last verified: 6 July 2015