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Cyclone Gabrielle Building Inspections

We know this is a very stressful time and that there is a long road ahead to recovering from this event that has impacted so many in our district and region.

As part of our legal requirements in an emergency such as this, our building officers have been undertaking rapid building assessments on properties.

Inspected buildings will see either a YELLOW, or RED sticker.

The stickers are a legal instruction, and only authorised officials can place, change or remove them.

  • RED – NO ACCESS (This means the building has been seriously damaged or is at risk from further hazards and residents will need to stay with family and friends)
  • YELLOW - RESTRICTED ACCESS (This means the building has been damaged and may need to be vacated in the short term, or occupied by authorised people only, or entry is at people’s own risk. In some cases people may need to stay with family and friends)
  • WHITE - NO RESTRICTIONS (This means that your building can be occupied). It does not mean that the building is not damaged. Be on the lookout for damage and contact your landlord or rental manager if you rent your home.

There is more information available via the MBIE website.

What happens next?

Rapid assessments are an initial safety check, and you will need to ensure the building is safe before reoccupying it if there is a red or yellow sticker (placard) issued. Both red and yellow stickers mean remedial work may be needed - a red sticker does not automatically mean a building is condemned. The first thing to do is to make contact with your insurer and depending on the damage, speak to a suitably qualified tradesperson or chartered professional engineer. Once work has been completed, Council inspectors will need to re-visit your house and sign off the work before the sticker can be removed from your property.

If your building has been affected by the cyclone, and you have not yet had an inspection, please contact our Customer Service team (06) 871 5000.

Some insurance policies MAY provide cover for temporary accommodation if your home is uninhabitable. Contact your insurer to enquire.

Don’t have insurance?

Support and assistance may be available through Ministry of Social Development’s Civil Defence payments – please contact 0800 400 100.

If you have further questions about what the sticker means, please contact our customer service team and ask to speak to the duty Building Officer. Phone (06) 871 5000.

Hastings District Council Designation of Area for Building Emergency Management

Key messages on the designation  

On 17 February 2023, Hastings District Council notified the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment of their decision to designate the Hastings District, under the Building Act 2004, to manage buildings that have been affected by land instability.

The decision to designate the area of the Hastings District will allow Hastings District Council to manage any ongoing risks to people from buildings as a result of the event.

What is a designated area?

A designated area is an area approved by the relevant decision maker to allow a local authority to take specific actions under the Building Act to manage buildings in an emergency. For the Hastings District Council designation this decision was made by the Local CDEM Controller of Hastings District on 17 February 2023.

The designated area extends across the entire Hastings District. The area designated will be reviewed once Rapid Building Assessments are completed. 

This designation will be reviewed every 90 days by Hastings District Council to confirm that the powers conferred by the designation are required to manage the response and recovery.   
The designation may remain in place until 18 February 2026, unless terminated earlier.

Any changes to the designated area are shared via public notice.

What will happen next?

Once a designated area is in place, the Building Act provides a number of special powers that may be exercised in respect of all buildings within the designated area.

The powers that can be used within a designated area provide a responsible person with authority to (among other things):

  • Enter buildings;
  • Complete post-event assessments;
  • Direct the evacuation of buildings;
  • Put in place measures for protecting buildings and keeping people at a safe distance;
  • Place notices and signs on buildings;
  • Direct the owners of building or land to provide information;
  • Direct works (urgent and non-urgent) to remove or reduce risks;
  • Direct works for long term use or occupation of a building.

How long will it be a designated area?

Until all buildings within the area are deemed safe, Hastings District Council will review the designation at least every 90 days and notify the public of the outcome of this review.

A designation of an area can be in force for up to three years and can be subsequently extended one time for a further three years, during which certain powers may be exercised.

A placard has been placed on my house, does this mean I can’t go home?

Information about the different placards and what they mean is available here: Rapid Building Assessment Placarding System

What happens if a building owner or resident chooses to ignore Council instructions?

The Building Act sets out a number of offences and penalties for non-compliance when the Building Act powers are in place. The responsible person who has been designated for building emergency management has the powers to make decisions about non-compliance.

The powers for offences and penalties are in sections 133BR to 133BU, and 133BW and 133BX of the Building Act.  The penalties include the ability for fines of between $5,000 and $200,000 to be imposed if a person intentionally fails to comply with the relevant provisions of the Building Act.

The responsible person will consider the appropriate compliance approach. 

Additional MBIE messages 

MBIE has activated the National Building Response Management Plan to support the response to the emergency in the Auckland Region and in preparation for Cyclone Gabrielle.

The Building Management Response Team will continue to monitor activities in the designated area and consider further support for Hastings District Council. Hastings District Council are still assessing the damage in their region.


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