Revised Legal Frameworks for Ownership and Use of Multidwelling Units

THE GENESIS OF THE PROJECT

On 4 September 2010 a significant earthquake measuring 7.1 in the Richter scale struck the Canterbury region of the South Island New Zealand. It was centered in a rural location but caused widespread property damage. It triggered a sequence of aftershocks that continued over the following years. The most serious aftershock occurred on 22 February 2011. While less in magnitude, measuring 6.3 on the Richter scale, it was shallow and centered close to the city of Christchurch which meant it had a stronger impact.

The consequences were devastating. 185 people lost their lives. Large numbers of commercial buildings sustained severe damage including two multi-storey buildings that collapsed. Some residential suburbs, particularly in the east of the city, were so badly affected that streets of houses were eventually demolished. There was also extensive damage to the city’s infrastructure. The Government estimated the total cost to rebuild Christchurch and the surrounding areas to be $40 billion, with its contribution now expected to be $17 billion.

This has led to considerable legal research being conducted to explore the plethora of legal issues. This report adds to that literature....