Auckland DHB: 40% of hospital fittings 'poorly restrained'

28 July 2017, Radio NZ

Almost half of Auckland Hospital's pipes, cables and ducts are not properly secured in ceiling cavities and could crash down on to people an earthquake.

That is despite the restraint systems having been signed off as compliant with the Building Code.

Insurers and engineers are increasingly speaking out about the problem of New Zealand buildings not complying with seismic restraint rules, despite having been signed off by councils.


RNZ asked the country's 10 largest employers whether their buildings complied with the standard designed to protect people from what is termed 'death from above'.

Countdown owner Progressive Enterprises and BNZ have been worried enough to launch multimillion-dollar upgrades of all their supermarkets and bank branches.

Auckland District Health Board said a preliminary review of the Auckland City Hospital site showed 40 percent of critical non-structural assets - such things as electrical and plumbing services to wards - were poorly restrained to withstand an earthquake, and 1 percent were rated 'very poor'.

The DHB said its buildings faced low seismic risk that was being "actively managed".

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"Around 70 - 80% of the total repair cost after an earthquake is usually due to the damage of internal and non-structural elements."

Jeremy Baker - General Manager, Quake Protected.

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