Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission – Te Komihana Rūwhenua o Waitaha

Those who lost relatives and friends in the 22 February earthquake can be assured that there will be a very thorough inquiry into the failure of buildings that resulted in loss of life.
Chair, Justice Mark Cooper


 14 February  2012

Quakes Royal Commission Sets CTV Hearing Date

As part of its inquiry into the failure of buildings in the Canterbury earthquakes, the Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission will hold a public hearing about the Canterbury Television (CTV) building collapse beginning 25 June 2012.

The hearing is expected to take up to five weeks.  The intention and purpose of the hearing will be to ascertain why the CTV building collapsed, causing such a significant loss of life. This will include at least the following:

  • The initial building consent issued by the local government authority, Christchurch City Council
  • The construction of the building and its design
  • Identification of a structural weakness in 1990 and again in 1992 by a prospective tenant
  • Damage suffered in the September and Boxing Day (December) earthquakes and the evidence of staff in the building about the damage
  • The assessment process undertaken, particularly after the September earthquake

The results of the Department of Building and Housing’s technical investigation into the CTV building will be able to be contested at the hearing.  The Commission received the results of the investigation on Thursday. They are now being internationally peer reviewed by eminent structural engineer William Holmes of Rutherford and Chekene in San Francisco.  In addition, the Commission’s own investigation into the collapse is ongoing.

Prior to the CTV hearing, on 6 March the Commission will publicly hear a submission from Srecko (Alec) Cvetanov. Cvetanov’s wife Dr Tamara Cvetanova, died in the collapsed CTV building on 23 February 2011. Cvetanov is concerned that the Commission’s terms of reference prohibit it from inquiring into the search and rescue effort. 

A hearing about the training and organisation of the engineering profession was due to begin on 26 March 2012. This hearing will now be held later to allow the Commission more time to produce the first part of the final report by 29 June 2012.

The timing for the hearings about the assessment of buildings after earthquakes and the overall regulatory framework are also yet to be decided.

All Commission hearings are held at St Teresa’s church hall on the corner of Riccarton Road and Puriri Street in Christchurch.


Media Contact  

Robin Major
Senior Communications Advisor
Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
Ph + 64 (0)3 741 3004 or + 64 (0)21 621 656