Criteria for funding

Applications need to meet the following criteria to be eligible for funding.

Privately owned

The building must be privately owned. The applicant must be the owner or part-owner of the heritage building, or provide evidence that they have the authority to submit the application on the owner’s behalf.


The building must be determined as earthquake-prone by your council, under the Building (Earthquake-prone buildings) Amendment Act 2016. If you have no council notification, you will need to provide an assessment of the building’s earthquake resistance capacity from an engineer.

Heritage value

The building must have heritage value and should be either:

  • Category 1 historic place on the New Zealand Heritage List; OR
  • Category 2 historic place on the New Zealand Heritage List AND in an area considered to be medium or high risk as defined under the Building (Earthquake-prone buildings) Amendment Act 2016.

Buildings scheduled in a district plan or buildings listed on other parts of the New Zealand Heritage List (as a wāhi tapu, wāhi tūpuna, wāhi tapu area or historic area) may be eligible for a Heritage EQUIP grant. Grant applications for these buildings would need to include independent verification of the building’s heritage values.

Nature of proposed works

The project must seismically strengthen the earthquake resistant capacity of the building, or part of the building, so that it is no longer considered earthquake-prone (i.e. to 34% of the New Building Standard). Heritage EQUIP recognises that in practice it is difficult to exactly meet 34% NBS, so applications for a design that goes over 34% may be considered if the application shows the solution presented is the optimum solution. If an owner wants to strengthen their building to greater than 34% NBS, the application will still be considered and an assessment made regarding the level of funding that would be appropriate within the scope of the fund.

Works must have all council consents and permissions in place – this includes having building consent. In some instances we may accept applications that are in the very final stages of being consented. We will not consider applications for work that has already started.

If you are not ready to apply, we encourage you to submit an Expression of Interest to indicate to the Heritage EQUIP panel that you are likely to apply in the future. Based on the information you provide, we will be able to tell you if you would be eligible for funding and can inform you of the dates for application assessments. Expressions of Interest will also provide an informal indication to the Fund Manager about potential demand on the fund in the future. Expressions of Interest may be submitted at any time.
Download the Expression of Interest form.


Securing parapets and facades on unreinforced masonry buildings

The Government recently amended the Building Act, to address the risk to public safety from unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings on certain streets in Wellington City, Hutt City, Marlborough District and Hurunui District Council areas. These areas have been identified as having an increased risk of earthquakes over the next 12 months, following the Hurunui/Kaikōura earthquake in 2016.

The affected streets in these areas are listed in the Hurunui/Kaikōura Earthquakes Recovery (Unreinforced Masonry Buildings) Order 2017. Building owners will be notified by their council if they are required to secure the parapets and facades on their buildings.

The Government and affected councils have set up the Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund to support building owners who are subject to this requirement.

If you plan to strengthen your building as well as secure the parapet and/or facade, you may be able to access the Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund and Heritage EQUIP funding. You won’t be able to get support from both funds for the same work, however owners of a heritage building could apply to the Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund to secure the parapet and facade and to the Heritage EQUIP fund to strengthen the building (excluding the parapet and facade).

Information on the Unreinforced Masonry Buildings Securing Fund is available on the Building Performance website.

To discuss your options for Heritage EQUIP funding, contact the Heritage EQUIP Fund Manager.


Related links

About the fund - what's available and the type of work we fund.

How to apply - application forms and guidance

Seismic strengthening projects - common hazards and potential solutions for earthquake-prone heritage buildings

Updated on 6th July 2017