To keep communities safe, the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016 requires all Councils to identify buildings which may pose a higher risk to public safety in the event of an earthquake. To do this, we must identify busy streets where an earthquake could cause people to be injured from falling masonry, or where important roads or routes could be blocked.

New Zealand has been divided into three seismic risk areas – high, medium and low, and there are set time frames to identify, assess and remediate earthquake-prone buildings based on these. The Waikato district has towns in medium and low risk seismic areas.

As required by legislation, we have identified three towns in the medium seismic risk area that it considers to have a high volume of pedestrian traffic or vehicles. These are Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Te Kauwhata.

Have we got it right?

We want your feedback on the high pedestrian traffic areas that have been identified and proposed in these towns.

Let us know below via our interactive maps where you think the high pedestrian areas are for Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Te Kauwhata. Or, if you would prefer, you can give us feedback using the online submission form.

High pedestrian areas must be identified in areas that are in a medium and high seismic risk zone.

Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Te Kauwhata are in the medium seismic risk zone. Other parts of the district are in the low seismic risk zone. No part of the district is in the high seismic risk zone.

For a building to be categorised as a priority building is must contain unreinforced masonry.

All priority buildings must be identified, assessed and remediated in half the amount of time allowed for than other earthquake-prone buildings, to reduce the risk to public safety. This means owners of priority buildings must strengthen or demolish earthquake-prone priority buildings within 12.5 years from the date the earthquake-prone building notice is issue

Earthquake prone building regulations do not apply to standard residential dwellings.

The Act requires community assistance to help determine ‘high pedestrian traffic areas’ so we are asking for feedback. We believe the streets we have identified have the highest volume of foot traffic and cars, but we want to hear from you.

Submissions closed 13 May 2022

Hearings and Deliberations

The proposed high pedestrian traffic areas were consulted on from 13 April to 13 May 2022.

18 submissions were received, and 1 submitter spoke at a Council hearing on 30 May 2022. The Hearing Report and Supplementary Agenda can be found here.

Deliberations were held on 30 May 2022. The Deliberations Report and accompanying attachments can be found here.

The Committee deliberated on the Bylaw and Policy and directed staff with the required changes.

Key themes

The key matters identified from the submissions include the following:

  1. Extending the high pedestrian area in Ngaruawahia to include the portion of Galileo Street starting at Newcastle Street to Community House on the corner and link back to the remainder of Martin Street.
  2. Inclusion of Onslow Street in Huntly’s High Pedestrian Traffic areas
  3. Inclusion of Hakanoa Street in Huntly’s High Pedestrian Traffic areas
  4. Stopping the boundary of the High Pedestrian Area on Main Street, Huntly at the Bottle-O
  5. Seismic Risk Zones for the Waikato District


After consulting with the community, Waikato District Council adopted the high pedstrian traffic areas for Ngaruawahia, Huntly and Te Kauwhata on 30 June 2022.

The following streets within each town are identified as high pedestrian areas:

  • Central Business District Area (Main Street), Huntly – extending to the north-end of the Main Street
  • Bridge Street, Huntly
  • Central Business District Area, Ngaruawahia
  • Main Street, Te Kauwhata

The streets are in medium seismic risk areas and are considered to have a high volume of pedestrian traffic or vehicles relative to each local circumstance.

Any commercial buildings containing unreinforced masonry (URM) or identified as earthquake-prone in the high pedestrian areas will be classified as a ‘priority building’ and need to be upgraded within 12 and a half years, to reduce the risk to public safety. Other URM buildings located in the medium seismic risk zone but outside the identified high pedestrian traffic areas will have 25 years to be updated. These rules do not apply to standard residential dwellings