Fire and Emergency New Zealand is seeking safety and structural improvements to the Paraparaumu Fire Station.
District manager Nick Pyatt said that following the magnitude 6.0 earthquake on February 15, which struck 50km northwest of Paraparaumu, station crews observed some cracks in the station finishing.
“After this damage was reported, Fire and Emergency engaged a structural engineer to undertake a post-earthquake assessment.
“The earthquake assessment report concluded that noticeable damage resulted from the recent seismic event but stated that the continued use of the building was acceptable since the building’s structural integrity has not been reduced below its pre-seismic event capacity.
“However, it was recommended that a Detailed Seismic Assessment (DSA) be undertaken due to observations made on-site and discrepancies found when reviewing the original drawings as part of this assessment.
“Fire and Emergency received the DSA in September, which rated the building at less than 34 per cent of the New Building Standard (NBS) Importance Level 4 (IL4).
“Due to the unexpected low rating it assigned to the building’s structural integrity, and considering the building’s modern construction and its age, Fire and Emergency opted to seek a high-level peer review of the DSA.
“This highlighted areas for consideration when looking into the safety improvements and strengthening but the consensus was that the overall rating will remain below 34 per cent NBS IL4.”
Pyatt said Fire and Emergency was collaborating with the structural engineer to investigate safety improvements as well as strengthening solutions to bring the building up to ≥ 34 per cent NBS IL4.
“Based on the advice from the structural engineer, we believe it is appropriate to continue operating from the station while we work through this process, with some areas of the station having limited access.”
He said the public could still come to the station for queries and advice, but the station wouldn’t be hosting visits or meetings in the short term.
“We are working as quickly as possible to resolve this and are updating our crews weekly, as their safety and reassurance is our priority, and we know this will be concerning for them.”
The Paraparaumu Fire Station building in Te Roto Dr was opened in 2009.