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Preventing buildings from falling down: Challenges for earthquake-strengthening policy in small-town New Zealand

Olga Filippova and Ilan Noy ()

No 6961, Working Paper Series from Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance

Abstract: The Canterbury earthquakes of 2010-11 and the announcement of the national earthquake prone building strengthening policy in New Zealand has apparently hindered activity in the property market affecting especially the older stock requiring seismic upgrade. The purpose of this paper is to focus on lower-value regional urban centres and the economic hardship they face for strengthening their building stock. Our investigation focuses on one town, Whanganui, but, the picture we paint of this town, the cases we analyse, and the incentives we detail, apply equally to dozens of other towns in New Zealand. These difficulties are not unique to New Zealand, as many places, globally, face the need to upgrade their infrastructure for protection against disasters and where governments have been struggling with similar difficulties in initiating earthquake strengthening of existing buildings. We analyse the current incentive schemes that can assist in achieving the policy goals and suggest alternative incentive schemes that can be implemented.

Keywords: Earthquake strengthening; Heritage buildings; Incentives; Canterbury earthquakes; Small regional towns (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ure
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:vuw:vuwecf:6961