Wellington’s historic buildings help make Wellington a wonderful city. But they also pose a deadly threat in case of earthquake.
This report released in partnership with the New Zealand Initiative documents the dangers posed when policy does more to protect buildings than to protect lives.
Deadly heritage argues that too few public resources are spread too thinly over too many heritage listed buildings – many of which are of only minor historic value. Owners of earthquake-prone heritage buildings face high strengthening costs, but the broader public reaps both the safety benefits of reinforced facades and of improved streetscapes when buildings are strengthened.