24 April 2018

Bob Simpson addresses council.

 

Mayor Shadbolt, councillors, staff and members of the public.

 

Recommendation for staff to return to the Southland Museum and Art Gallery, on Monday 30 April 2018.

 

  1. My objective today is to get the ICC chief executive, to fulfil the commitment in her 9 April 2018 report to Council, on withdrawing the 41 staff from the Southland Museum and Art Gallery.

 

  2. “The recommended decisions would be easily reversible should different information come to pass”

 

  3. After the devastating Napier Earthquake in 1931, the building codes were modified. The original 1940 two storey Museum building, and the subsequent additions, have all been built to the current building codes of the day. They are not a significant risk, in the case of an earthquake.

 

  4. “Two experienced structural engineers, who have a good knowledge of the ground conditions in Invercargill, have told me, they expect the ground conditions to be better than the assumption made in the 2013 Opus (seismic assessment) Report.

 

  5.I now have a ground test, completed by a qualified person, which indicates the ground is likely to be in the “Soil Class C category,” as we expected.  The 2013 Report has assumed “ground category D”.

 

  6. These engineers and I, also believe the occupancy loading used for the calculations is incorrect, for this type of building. We believe the correct occupancy class is “Importance Level 2” not “Importance level 3” as shown in the 2013 Report.

 

  7. If our assumptions are correct, then the overall seismic rating of the museum building would be around 50% of NBS (New Building Standard).” This is without dealing with some other issues, in the 2013 Report.

 

  8. Building professional, Lindsay Buckingham, has covered the legal responsibilities of the chief executive in his comprehensive letter to the Southland Times.

 

  9. I believe this note contains the “different information”, Mrs Hadley needs, to reverse her decision.

 

  10. Consequently, I think Mrs Hadley should promptly reverse her decision, and allow the staff to return to the Museum building.

 

   11. For your information, I have asked the Southland Museum and Art Gallery Trust Board, to put on the agenda for their meeting, on Thursday afternoon 26 April, the opportunity for an engineer with local knowledge and the appropriate skills and experience contribute to the meeting by a conference call:

 

 a. To comment on the 2013 Opus seismic assessment Report and on the 2018 letter from a Wellington engineer, who retired from full time practice in 2008.

 

b. To recommend what the SMAG board should do next.

 

  12. I can see no reason why, with a little bit of cooperation, the Museum, could not be operational on Monday 30 April, and welcome the kids, for the second week of the school holidays.