Insurance Council fights tighter seismic rules

The Insurance Council has filed a judicial review application in the Christchurch High Court against higher earthquake strengthening required by Christchurch City Council.

In late 2010 the council adopted a new policy, with the aim of requiring new or upgraded buildings to achieve 67% of new building standard.

The Insurance Council argues 67% is unlawful and is holding up repairs and rebuilds.

The application comes in the same week the government said lifting the new building standard beyond 33% was unlikely because it would bankrupt the country.

But the Christchurch council is under siege from the Royal Commission report that laid considerable blame for failures relating to the CTV building collapse in February 2011.

Last week, mayor Bob Parker and fellow councillors rejected their own staff report to reopen some of the 161 public buildings that have been closed in recent months due to seismic fears.

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If the Insurance Council thought about long term risk rather than just trying to save on payouts for the Christchurch earthquakes, they would insist on all NZ having a 67% requirement

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