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News in briefs, January 31, 2024

MP’s maiden speech today

Wairarapa electorate MP Mike Butterick, who won the seat with a 2816 majority in last year’s general election, is making his maiden speech in Parliament at 3.30pm today. His speech can be watched live on Parliament TV [see ondemand.parliament.nz]. It’s understood that over 100 Wairarapa residents will be making the trip to Wellington to support Butterick’s parliamentary speaking debut.

No notice

A quarter of Masterton’s earthquake-prone buildings [EPB] are not displaying the required notice, according to a council report. Masterton District Council staff recently completed an audit to ensure compliance with the requirement to prominently display EPB notices. These notices play a crucial role in informing occupants, users, and the public about the seismic risk associated with a building. Out of the 81 earthquake-prone buildings audited, it was found that 22 are not displaying their required notice. A report to the council’s Infrastructure and Services Committee said staff are actively following up with the relevant building owners to ensure they display an EPB notice. In the next 24 months, three Masterton buildings are approaching the date on which they are required to be remediated. From 2027 onwards there is a growing number of buildings that will reach the deadline in which they must be strengthened. The report said it is anticipated that some owners will face challenges, primarily driven by the substantial costs associated with remediation works. Council officers will engage with building owners to understand the problems they face, and this engagement will help the council assess the number of buildings that may not be remediated. -NZLDR

Hundreds
submit to plan

More than 200 submissions have been received on the Proposed Wairarapa Combined District Plan. Submissions to the plan closed on December 19, and although there was originally a total of 239, there appears to have been double-ups and late submissions, taking the total down to 241. A summary of submissions will be made available in early March. Further submissions will be notified and called for in early April and will close in early May. The composition of the hearing panel, dates, and venues are still to be considered. -NZLDR

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