Six near-new commercial buildings in Masterton, all owned by Lands Trust Masterton, have failed to meet new building standards and are potential earthquake risks.
Mico Plumbing on Queen Street, Avantiplus in Chapel Street and four Dixon Street businesses, being FMG, Carpet Court, Beaurepaires and TRC Toyota were identified this week as those which may have engineering design problems.
All six were built between 2003 and 2014 and their plight has come as a bolt out of the blue for the trust.
General manager Andrew Croskery, who has only been in the role a few weeks, said the trustees were "unbelievably disappointed" with the findings.
Meetings had been held yesterday with the tenants who had been "shocked" to hear the news especially given the age the buildings.
Of the six, which are collectively worth millions of dollars, one was found on the initial assessment by MBIE to meet less than 33 per cent of the new building standard and was declared to be potentially "earthquake prone."
Mr Croskery would not name which of the businesses fell into that category.
The remaining five were assessed as being between 34 per cent and 67 per cent compliant and therefore were classified as potential earthquake risks.
Mr Croskery said the concerns were about engineering design and not the actual construction.
"It is not a contractor to builder issue," he said.
The trust "will resolve this" and its first priority was to have detailed seismic assessments of all six buildings done to fully understand the extent of the issues and any work needed to be done.
Once that was done the trust would invoke a plan of action to ensure all six buildings complied with Building Act requirements.
The trust had been advised last month by MBIE that the Institute of Professional Engineers had asked for a review of the design documents after a member "had raised concerns."
Asked to comment Masterton District Council chief executive Pim Borren said council was awaiting a detailed assessment of the buildings to be completed.
"But our preliminary enquiries show most, if not all, were peer reviewed by independent engineers."
The council's role in signing off on building matters is to issue a building consent provided all information has been forthcoming.
This is based on the engineer's report and peer reviews by independent, professional structural engineers.