New Zealand to review building design standards after quake


New Zealand’s government says the partial collapse of a modern office building’s interior floors during an earthquake last November was unacceptable and could have killed people.

Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said Friday that officials will review the nation’s design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington’s Statistics House building.

The six-story office block was built in 2005 and housed government statisticians. Two concrete floors partially collapsed during the magnitude 7.8 quake, which occurred just after midnight when the building was empty.

The quake’s epicenter was about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Wellington in the town of Kaikoura.

Independent experts concluded the building’s flexible frame and the stretching of its beams during the quake contributed to its poor performance.



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