New EQ Upgrade Incentive Fund for Heritage Buildings

12 August 2016

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Maggie Barry, has announced the Heritage Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme (EQUIP) fund of $12M over the next four years.

The contestable fund will be available for privately owned category 1 NZ-listed buildings across the country and for category 2 buildings in high to medium risk seismic areas.

High seismic areas include Wellington, Gisborne, Napier, Manawatu, Palmerston North, Christchurch, Queenstown and Southland.

Medium risk areas include Hamilton, Whanganui, Thames, New Plymouth and Invercargill.

Applications for the fund will not open until next year and will be assessed by an advisory panel that the Minister has yet to set up. Applicants will also need to match Heritage EQUIP funding with local Government, philanthropic, community and their own contributions.

Further information will be available over the next few months.

The full media release from Minister Barry can be found here.

This site also provides a link where you can register to receive further information when it becomes available: http://www.mch.govt.nz/heritageequip

$12M over four years isn’t going to go far given the number of buildings with heritage listings in NZ, but this is a good start. Hopefully it will also induce local authorities to be more willing to establish similar funds that bodies corporate can apply to for part of the matching funding that will be required. Given that strengthening of buildings has a major public good element ie benefits to others such as pedestrians and others on the street rather than just those that have to pay out the cash, it is seen to be entirely reasonable that local and central authorities contribute to what is otherwise a major cost on private owners.

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