Helping New Zealand build strong communities


Earthquake strengthening

In preparation for the proposed changes to the Building Act 2004, which incorporates a national policy for around managing the risks presented by earthquake prone buildings, the following Lottery committees (Lottery Environment and HeritageLottery Community Facilities and Lottery Marae Heritage and Facilities) may fund both seismic assessment reports and earthquake strengthening work.

Funding may be available for earthquake strengthening projects for community and/or heritage buildings; however Committees will not fund earthquake strengthening of buildings or structures which are privately or commercially owned.

Seismic assessment reports

Initial seismic assessments will be carried out by a Territorial Authority.  However, if a building is found to be less than 34% of the new building standard, owners will be required to undertake a detailed seismic assessment report of the work that needs to be done to bring the building up to the required standard.  Grant requests for undertaking detailed seismic assessment reports may be considered.

When applying, you should note that the detailed seismic assessment report must be carried out by a qualified and experienced engineer.  The assessor should be a member of the Institute of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ), and should have had prior experience of assessing for seismic capacity.  If the building is a heritage building the assessor should also have previous experience of this type of assessment of heritage buildings. 

Earthquake strengthening projects

The Committees may consider applications for projects which are seeking funding to undertake earthquake strengthening work on buildings, structures or monuments.  When making a decision on funding the Committee’s will be considering the following points:

  • if the work required is to undertake remedial work for critical weakness within shortened timeframes;
  • if the building/structure is of strategic importance; and/or
  • failure to strengthen the building/structure will impact on public safety.

You may wish to address these points when making your request.

Requests for earthquake strengthening projects, you must provide a detailed seismic assessment report for your project.  This is in addition to other documentation required. Details of the supporting documentation requirements for each committee can be found here:

Before requesting a grant

Before requesting a grant you are encouraged to speak with a Community Advisor to ensure that your project fits with Lottery funding criteria.  For further advice or wish to speak with a Community Advisor you can contact them on 0800 824 824 or email