Multibillion-dollar surprise for proprietors of heritage sites: lawyers   4 Mar 2013

Some of New Zealand's historic buildings are about to be hit by a multibillion-dollar bombshell, as the Government forces their strengthening, experts claim.

Marcus Beveridge and Tina Hwang, specialist property lawyers at Queen City Law, say the cost of upgrading around 15,000 to 25,000 heritage structures has been put as high as $100 billion, well exceeding the leaky-buildings crisis.

But Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said charges would be nowhere near the $100 billion mark.

Officials had estimated $1.7 billion under the new proposals, he said, and opponents were suggesting extreme action. That wouldn't be necessary, and not every building would need work, due to exclusions including houses, wool sheds, barns, little-used community halls and perhaps rural churches.

Mr Beveridge and Ms Hwang, who represent many investors and developers, said seismic upgrade of earthquake-prone buildings could cost landlords six times as much as the mid-range estimate for leaky homes.

"The leaky-building saga is estimated to be worth $15 billion and there've been contrary voices on how much the seismic issue is worth," they said. Rotten homes could be fixed in a piecemeal fashion, but weak, dangerous old buildings were much harder to upgrade.

"Leaky buildings had the option of targeted repairs in addition to a full repair. Will a full repair here be required? Would it be economically sustainable? There will be a greater debate over the economics," the lawyers said.

Many tenants were deserting buildings because they were classed as dangerous and insurers were rejecting cover for landlords and tenants.

Chris Darby, Devonport-Takapuna Local Board chairman and Devonport Business Association member, is worried about buildings in his area, saying the ramifications could be far-reaching and tenants were already demanding information.

"Current and potential tenants are increasingly asking agents and landlords about the structural integrity of historic buildings.

"There is cause for concern where the perception is that historic buildings per se are not worth the risk or trouble of buying or leasing."

By Anne Gibson

Source NZ Herald

Add a comment

Bookmark and Share

News

Waitangi signing commemorated 175 years on

26 May 2015 News
Horizons Regional Council Waitangi signing commemorated 175 years on A Rangitikei River stone monument commemorating a significant... more

NZ welcomes interception of IUU fishing vessels

23 May 2015 News
Foreign Minister Murray McCully has welcomed the news that two well-known illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing vessels,... more

Business

NZ trade surplus narrows in April as dairy exports fall

26 May 2015 Business News By Tina Morrison
  NZ trade surplus narrows as expected in April as whole milk powder exports decline May 26 (BusinessDesk) - New... more

NZ consumer confidence slips in May

22 May 2015 Business News By Tina Morrison
May 22 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand consumer confidence slipped in May as sentiment about current and future conditions eased. The... more

Living

NZ Surfer Daniel Kereopa in New Documentary

23 May 2015 Lifestyle
The pride and glory of winning The Ultimate Waterman is relived for Kiwi Daniel Kereopa in a documentary that went live online this... more

Britain remembers the ANZACs - 100 years on

25 Apr 2015 ANZAC By Charlotte Everett
100 years after allied forces landed in Gallipoli, 25 April – ANZAC Day – has been commemorated in the UK officially for... more

Property

New guidance on home construction

22 May 2015 Property
Building and Housing Minister Dr Nick Smith today released at the Certified Builders’ Association conference in Christchurch... more

Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth

20 May 2015 Property By Paul McBeth
  Goodman Property lifts FY earnings 5.4% on revenue growth, cost clamp down May 20 (BusinessDesk) - Goodman Property Trust,... more

Migration

Migrant exploitation Bill passed

30 Apr 2015 Migration
The Immigration Amendment Bill (No 2) which cracks down on employers who exploit migrant workers passed its final reading in... more

NZ migration hits new annual record in March

23 Apr 2015 Migration By Tina Morrison
April 23 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand migration hit a new annual record in March, as more students arrived from India and China and... more

Travel

Border clearance levy to be introduced

21 May 2015 Travel & Tourism
New Zealand Government Hon Nathan GuyMinister for Primary IndustriesHon Nicky WagnerMinister of Customs 21 May 2015 Border clearance... more

Two new tourism projects to receive funding

20 May 2015 NZ Tourism
  Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key has today announced the Government is investing in two new tourism projects in... more

Sport

England wins by 124 runs at Lord's

26 May 2015 Cricket
DAY FIVE: First Innings: England 389 (Root 98, Stokes 92; Henry 4-93, Boult 4-79) v BLACKCAPS 523 (Williamson 132, Guptill 70) in the... more

Sir Owen Glenn creates Warriors trust

26 May 2015 Rugby League
  Sir Owen Glenn is to transfer his 50% stake in the NZ Warriors rugby league franchise to a trust named the "Sir Owen Glenn... more

Columns

Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015

22 May 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget - “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked.... more

Gordon Campbell Key’s abuse of secrecy over Iraq & The TPP

30 Apr 2015 Opinion By Gordon Campbell
  For the past week or so we’ve been hearing a lot about the child-like side of our Prime Minister. So I guess we... more

Kiwi Success

2015 Youth Awards winners announced

26 May 2015 People
Youth Minister Nikki Kaye today announced the recipients of the 2015 Youth Awards. Winners will be presented with awards at a... more

Top biology student off to Denmark Olympiad

21 May 2015 People
Sixteen-year-old Waikato Dio student Nikita Lyons is one of four students representing New Zealand at the International Biology... more

Recruitment

NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority

26 May 2015 Press Releases By Anna Lu
  NZ employees rate work-life balance as top priority, while job seekers eye cash, survey shows May 26 (BusinessDesk) - New... more

NZ's growing ICT sector drives more diverse economy: Joyce

15 May 2015 State of the Market Report By Paul McBeth
  NZ's growing ICT sector drives rapid economic diversification, Joyce says May 15 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand's information... more