What to expect from flood and cyclone-damaged building inspections

Last Updated : 03 Mar 2023

Auckland Council is undertaking rapid building assessments across Tāmaki Makaurau to determine whether a building is safe to occupy and whether it poses a safety risk to others.

Initial assessments are rapid – taking about 20 minutes – and can sometimes be completed by inspectors from outside the building, without needing to enter.

Following an inspection, a building will receive either a white, yellow or red placard – or sticker.

The placards are a legal instruction and only authorised officials can place, change or remove them.

If your property has a placard you should receive an email from the council with a Placard Status Letter confirming your current placard status, as well as your RFS number. This letter can be used as an official document to provide evidence of the status of your address to any interested parties including banks, insurance companies and Police. Following any placard status changes you will receive an updated Placard Status Letter.

If you have not yet received a letter, please email rbaregulatory@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz with your name, email address, phone number and the type of placard you have on your property.

What do the white, yellow or red placards mean?

White – no access restrictions

White placards indicate a building has suffered light or no damage and can be used. However, a white placard doesn't necessarily mean the building is safe, as there could be unobserved damage. Owners of white-stickered buildings may still want to get their own engineering checks done. White placards will expire 21 days after they are issued and can then be removed by the owner.

Yellow - access restricted

Yellow placards indicate a building may have sustained moderate damage and access is restricted. This generally means either some identified areas of the building pose a significant hazard and cannot be used, or that the public cannot enter except under supervision for a limited time on essential business. This could include emergency or assessment purposes, for example, or removing critical business records, valuables and property.

Red – access prohibited

Red placards indicate a building cannot be used and entry is prohibited because it has sustained moderate or heavy damage and poses a significant risk to health or life. This could be from the building itself, from external factors such as adjacent buildings, or from ground failure.

For more information on rapid building assessments, please visit building.govt.nz

Guides for making building repairs

If your property has been affected by natural hazards, including flooding and landslips, please read the following guides for more information:

Auckland Council: Building repair information sheet

BRANZ: Restoring a home after flood damage

MBIE: Exempt building work guide

MBIE: Exempt building work FAQs

Responsibilities for building owners

Building owners have a responsibility to ensure their buildings remain structurally sound following a major disaster. They must also continue to comply with their obligations in relation to health and safety, tenancy and lease agreements, and any other contracts.

Building owners also have an obligation to help authorised officials carry out their inspection duties following an event.

For more information for building owners, please visit building.govt.nz

What happens next?

Rapid assessments are an initial safety check. Please contact your insurer as a first step and depending on the damage to your property, you may need to speak to a suitably qualified builder or chartered professional engineer.

Information on paying rates

Auckland Council will be proactively contacting owners of red-stickered properties to discuss what financial support is available to them.

We are mindful that ratepayers who have been affected by the recent weather events might have issues with paying their rates by the due date of 28 February 2023. We want to reassure owners of red-stickered properties that no penalties will be imposed on them for late rates payments, regardless of whether we have contacted them or not.

The council doesn’t currently offer a remission of rates for red-stickered properties, the preferred approach is to provide support through grants. This lets us target financial support to those who have been impacted the most and who are most in need. A grant can also target support to tenants, not just property owners.

Our rates are set and assessed, for this year, based on values as at 30 June 2022. Significantly damaged properties where the rating value is impacted will be reassessed and any corresponding changes to their rates will take effect from 1 July 2023. Our valuers will be in touch with affected ratepayers once we understand the impacts on properties.

If people are experiencing financial difficulties and are unable to pay their rates, we encourage them to call us on 09 301 0101 to talk through the support, payment, and postponement options available to them.

Emergency Relief Fund

The Auckland Council Emergency Relief Fund supports people who have been affected by the recent storm events. Applications to the fund can be made online at aucklandcouncil.govt.nz or by calling us on 09 301 0101 during business hours.

There are also additional government and other support options available, including Civil Defence payments. Details can be found on the Auckland Emergency Management website.

Land Information Memorandums (LIMs)

Property owners should be aware that red, yellow, and white placards will be disclosed on future LIMs requested for the property. All placards issued are required to be noted on LIMs and will reflect the most current status, including after the placard has been closed.

Auckland Council has a mandatory obligation under Section 44A of the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act 1987 to disclose this information on LIMs.

Red/Yellow placards

The status of these placards will remain as ‘open’ until any required remedial work is undertaken. Once repairs are completed, contact us at RBAComms@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz to have any restrictions reassessed and the placard status noted as ‘closed’.

White placards

The status of these placards will automatically be noted as ‘closed’ from 21 days after they are issued.

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