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 July 2011

Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission lists buildings of interest

The Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission has identified a list of buildings of interest to its inquiry into earthquake-related building failure in Christchurch.

The Commission’s Terms of Reference requires it to establish a reasonably representative sample of buildings in the Central Business District (CBD) and to use this sample as the basis for answering a number of very significant questions that arise from the earthquakes.

This representative sample must include the Canterbury Television building, the Pyne Gould Corporation building, the Forsyth Barr building and The Hotel Grand Chancellor building.

The Commission has decided the inquiry will include any building within the CBD which failed causing loss of life. These buildings include The Press building in Cathedral Square, the Link Centre in High St, the Methodist Church on Durham St as well as numerous commercial premises on Colombo St, Cashel St, Gloucester St, Hereford St, Lichfield St and Manchester St.

The Commission has also widened the inquiry to include any other building which caused loss of life including commercial premises on Riccarton Rd in Riccarton, Coleridge St in Sydenham, Worcester St in Linwood and a residential property in St Albans.

Buildings which withstood the Canterbury earthquakes are also of interest. The list of buildings needs to have sufficient range of buildings to cover:

  • the different structural types and forms of buildings in the CBD
  • the different construction materials used
  • the design and availability of safety features including escape routes, such as stairs
  • the different dates of design and construction, including heritage buildings
  • buildings that had been retro-fitted to improve earthquake resistance
  • buildings which had been identified as “earthquake-prone” on   or before the 4 September 2010 earthquake
  • different foundation types and underlying soils
  • different types of building usage

Since the Commission started work in May it has created a draft list of buildings which it believes meets these requirements. It is currently being refined and the Commission expects to narrow the list down once more information is available. The list will be publicly available once it has been finalised and all building owners have been contacted.

Buildings which can be named at this time include:

  • The Courthouse, Armagh St
  • Catholic Basilica, Barbadoes St
  • Christ Church Cathedral, Cathedral Square
  • Police Station, Hereford St
  • Christchurch City Council Civic Offices (new), Hereford St
  • Town Hall, Kilmore St
  • Christchurch Hospital, Riccarton Ave
  • Christchurch City Council Civic offices (former), Tuam St
  • Arts Centre, Worcester St
  • Art Gallery, Worcester St


Media contact

Robin Major
Senior Communications Advisor, Canterbury Earthquakes Royal Commission
Phone 021 621 656