There are 113 buildings in Wellington with the same cladding used on the Grenfell Tower in London, where 71 people died in a fire last year.
The tragic fire prompted a nationwide request from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment for New Zealand councils to gather information about buildings clad in the same aluminium composite panels (ACP) used on the tower.
Of the 113 buildings with the panels in Wellington, only 18 of those needed a fire engineer assessment, and none were found to have so much ACP coverage that it would be detrimental to safe evacuation.
Wellington City Council reviewed the property files of the 113 buildings it found to have aluminium composite panels and a building investigation officer visited the properties to confirm the type of cladding and its location.
In cases where council could not confirm whether the cladding was a combustible type or not, it assumed it was combustible.
At each visit, the officer took photos and made a visual inspection. The results of the site inspections were then compared against information held on each property on council's files.
In some instances, council was able to conclude the ACP was non-combustible due to its fire-rated core.
For buildings with a significant amount of ACP with an assumed combustible polythene core, council had a fire engineer carry out specific assessments, based on the building's specific features such as height and fire safety systems, to identify if there were any characteristics of the building or apparent fire risks that might help fire spread to the cladding.
For 18 of the 113 buildings the council considered that a fire engineer assessment was needed. The engineer found the extent of ACP coverage should not be detrimental to safe evacuation of the building in the event of a fire involving ACP.
The engineer also recommended specific actions to be taken by the building owners.
Building owners were advised of the results of the investigations last month.
Council is now in the process of recording and responding to incoming information and queries from the building owners.
It has not assessed any building as requiring further action from the council in terms of its statutory responsibilities, but it has recommended building owners assess the building from an occupant safety perspective, seeking independent advice as appropriate, and implementing and relevant recommendations of the fire engineer.
Council will take the ACP matter further if MBIE provides further guidance.
It will not identify the 18 buildings until owners have been given time to respond to the reports.