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23 Jul 2017 8:55
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  •   Home > News > Business

    Look past aesthetics: Wellington council

    The Wellington City Council is urging home buyers to look past the 'sexy' when looking at properties, to prepare the city for earthquakes or weather episodes.

    Wellington home buyers should look past the 'sexy' when looking at properties, to prepare the city for earthquakes or weather episodes, the council says.

    Homes in shadowy or damper areas, as well as homes built before 1962 are more at risk to pest infestations like borer, the Wellington City Council has found.

    As well as pest infestations like borer, piles, chimneys and even poor ventilation are risking the structural integrity of buildings, making them more prone when disaster strikes, WCC's chief resilience officer Mike Mendonca says.

    The investigation into Wellington's housing stock has also found 60 per cent of inspected Wellington homes have earthquake or weather resilience issues.

    Home buyers are seduced by what they see, and make excuses when they fall in love with a house, Mr Mendonca says.

    "It's worth having a look under the house. The stuff that's not visible, when something bad happens it's going to be the stuff that's not sexy."

    He says Wellington was fortunate during the Kaikoura quake in November as most of the damage was to commercial buildings.

    "When we have the Wellington earthquake, we're going to have a decent shake. We need to get people to be proactive. We know we're going to have a big one [earthquake] but we don't know when."

    Half of the inspected homes had some kind of borer infestation, while many had major ones.

    "If you have that in your framing, obviously your house won't be as strong," Mr Mendonca said.

    The inquiry was sparked after the results from inspections from 100 city homes over two years were concerning.

    The council then lined up another 500 homes for inspection before the end of the year.

    The council are working on putting together a programme to upgrade homes, but says it's still in the early stages.

    Its hoping it'll gather support, not only financial, from the government and building partners, but isn't sure what that will look like at this stage.


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