25 July 2011
Significant Interest in Quake Inquiry
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch has received 62 expressions of interest from people interested in participating in its inquiry into building failure caused by the Canterbury Earthquakes.
Expressions of interest have been received from bereaved families, eye witnesses who saw buildings collapse, people who were trapped in damaged buildings and cars, rescue workers, building owners and tenants in the Central Business District red zone, quantity surveyors, structural engineers, mechanical engineers and builders.
Organisations which have made expressions of interest include the Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management, the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, NZ Fire Service Urban Search and Rescue, Local Government New Zealand, Tonkin & Taylor, Structural Engineering Society of New Zealand, Wellington City Council, New Zealand Geotechnical Society, the Standards Council, New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Inc, Department of Building and Housing and the New Zealand Charter for the Conservation of Cultural Property 2010 (ICOMOS New Zealand Charter 2010).
More than half of the interested parties said they have information, photographs and video footage about buildings in the Christchurch CBD. There was also strong interest from interested parties in the other issues the Royal Commission is investigating: seismicity; legal and best-practice requirements; the change of New Zealand design standards and codes of practice over time; and the development of technical expertise in the design and construction of seismic resistant buildings.
“It is pleasing to see this level of interest in the Royal Commission’s inquiry and across the range of issues the Commission will look into. We will continue to keep people informed about progress and publish information we receive, such as expert reports, on our website”, said Justine Gilliland, Executive Director for the Royal Commission.
Twenty interested parties said they want to provide written evidence or a submission without appearing before the Commission. Another 20 interested parties elected to appear before the Royal Commission. A few people requested private meetings with the Royal Commission and the balance did not specify how they would prefer to provide information.
Late expressions of interest are expected from members of the public who contacted the Commission by last Friday’s deadline to say their forms were in the post. The Christchurch City Council is expected to decide at a meeting later this week if it will enter an expression of interest.
Once all expressions of interest have been received, they will be sorted according to the nature of interest. Interested persons will be contacted for more detailed information. The Royal Commission will also draw up a timetable for submissions and hearings.
About the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission in Christchurch was established in response to the building failure and loss of life caused by the Canterbury earthquakes in February 2011.
A Royal Commission is the most serious response available to the New Zealand Government. The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission is chaired by sitting High Court judge Justice Mark Cooper. The other two Commissioners are University of Canterbury Associate Professor Richard Fenwick and Sir Ron Carter.
The Commission will provide an interim report to the Government by 11 October 2011. The Government requires the final report no later than 11 April 2012.
Senior Communications Advisor, Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
Phone +64 21 621 656 email: email@example.com