In late May throughout June 2021 and again in July, Aotearoa faced extreme weather events including severe flooding across the South Island and a tornado in South Auckland. The 2019 Building Act powers for managing buildings in an emergency were put to the test for the first time, with three separate designated areas established within six weeks.
When an extreme weather event such as a flood, earthquake or tornado occurs in a populated area, it is likely that buildings will be impacted. It’s critical that councils are equipped to quickly mobilise the right resources to protect lives, and prevent further damage to buildings, public thoroughfares and critical infrastructure.
Councils have a responsibility to plan for these emergencies under the Civil Defence Emergency Act 2002 (CDEM), while MBIE play our part by coordinating training and maintaining the national capability of rapid building assessors to respond when an incident strikes. MBIE is also able to coordinate national building management support, and may lead rapid building assessment functions in a state of national emergency.