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Wellington's quake-prone buildings should be publicly listed so people know their status, United Future leader Peter Dunne says.

The MP who represents the capital's Ohariu electorate said today the public had a fundamental right to know about the buildings they worked in or frequently used.

"I do not think people will behave in a knee-jerk way with this information," he said.

"Officials need to trust the people here, but it can't think of a compelling reason for the public not being told."

Mr Dunne said the commercial imperative for property owners to protect the value of their investment was not a good enough reason to withhold information, and if it was published it would give them an extra push to get earthquake strengthening work done quickly.

"Right now we need an open and transparent approach to the reality of the issues that we could all face at any time," he said.

"If the capital has buildings that potentially could perform like the Pyne Gould and CTV buildings in Christchurch in a worst case scenario, then there is a right to know and individuals have the right to make decisions that might be as simple as not using those buildings."

Wellington City Council engineers are assessing buildings in an area-by-area basis and once a building has been assessed the owners are advised whether it is earthquake-prone. The information is included in the property's land or project information memoranda, which are available to the public for a fee.

The council is not assessing buildings built after 1976.

- NZPA