Home Learn LBP & Regulation Rebuilding after severe weather

August 2023

Rebuilding after severe weather

21 Jul 2023, LBP & Regulation, Learn, Prove Your Know How

The summer of 2023 has proven to be one of New Zealand’s most challenging, with severe weather hitting most of Te Ika-a-Māui North Island and affecting the lives and livelihoods of thousands of New Zealanders

In the month of January, Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland received 45% of its annual rainfall according to the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric research, with many areas of Te Ika-a-Māui receiving over 400% of normal January rainfall.

In February came ex-tropical Cyclone Gabrielle, bringing widespread flooding and damage to land and buildings across Te Ika-a-Māui, cutting off several communities from the rest of the country. 

We know the road to recovery will be long and will bring many challenges. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is here to support home and building owners, and those in the building sector, as our communities look to start their journey. 

MBIE has developed and updated a number of resources to provide information and guidance to help Licensed Building Practitioners navigate the remediation and recovery of buildings that have been damaged by flooding.

Placard information

If the building you are working on has a rapid building assessment placard, you need to know what this means. MBIE has produced information on what rapid building assessment placards are and what they mean.

You must not start repair work on a building with a red or yellow placard without first contacting your local council to discuss this. The council will, if appropriate, issue authorisation to access the building. In some cases, access may be refused, for instance due to a high risk to life or safety. In the case of a red placard, it is likely that a Detailed Damage Evaluation will need to be undertaken. This may also be recommended for a yellow or white placard.

Flood damaged buildings

This guidance provides advice on what to consider before undertaking repairs and how to minimise future damage.

It includes some helpful information about how to identify potential flood damage to different building elements, and a suggested list of building areas that should be inspected for damage to help you identify what remedial work may be needed.

It also talks about some of the risks associated with such damage, to help you carry out the remedial work safely.

Read the flood damaged buildings guidance HERE.

Damage to plasterboard

Flood damage frequently means that the plasterboard wall linings in a building are damaged. This may be due to direct exposure to water, which could see the lining become mouldy or discoloured, or could also occur if there has been movement of the building due to foundation settlement caused by instability of the land under or around the house. This may lead to cracking at corners or other junctions.

MBIE has produced information to help check for potential damage, clarify why it’s important to repair plasterboard, identify the types of plasterboard you may be working with, and explain the regulations surrounding the use of plasterboard. 

Read more about damage to plasterboard HERE.

Slope stability

MBIE has created a quick guide, which provides direction for designers and home and building owners on how to go about remediating any damage done to their buildings or surrounding areas, where the foundations or the ground have been affected by flooding or landslides.

It covers safety issues, what to look for, what to do if the work is urgent, and exemptions that might apply.  

Read the slope stability quick guide HERE.

Building consent exemptions

This quick guide provides information on what building work may not require a building consent following a severe weather event or earthquake. It focusses on exemptions that apply when remediating flood damage. The guide covers everything from fences and outdoor structures through to windows and internal walls, including a section on plumbing. 

Read more about building consent exemptions HERE.

Helplines and resources

The months ahead will require a lot of tough mahi. If you notice you or people around you are struggling, particularly if you are living or working in areas affected by the January floods or Cyclone Gabrielle, the Ministry of Health has a wealth of free helplines and resources for anyone to use. 

Mental health and wellbeing: health.govt.nz/your-health/services-and-support/health-care-services/mental-health-services/mental-health-and-wellbeing-where-get-help .

Noho mai rā i roto i ngā manaakitanga katoa (Stay well, take care) 

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