Pacific

New Zealand to review building design standards after quake

  • FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, an emergency worker patrols a road cordon in Wellington, New Zealand, after officials determined a nine-story office building, center, is in danger of collapsing following a powerful earthquake. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, an emergency worker patrols a road cordon in Wellington, New Zealand, after officials determined a nine-story office building, center, is in danger of collapsing following a powerful earthquake. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (AP Photo/Nick Perry, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, streets are cordoned off near a nine-story building in Wellington where engineers discovered a major vertical beam had failed above the fifth floor, following an earthquake in New Zealand. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

    FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2016, file photo, streets are cordoned off near a nine-story building in Wellington where engineers discovered a major vertical beam had failed above the fifth floor, following an earthquake in New Zealand. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (Mark Mitchell/New Zealand Herald via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2016, file photo, then New Zealand Prime Minister John Key inspects damage to the Waiau Lodge Hotel in Waiau, New Zealand, 10 days after an earthquake hit the region. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (Iain McGregor/Pool Photo via AP)

    FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2016, file photo, then New Zealand Prime Minister John Key inspects damage to the Waiau Lodge Hotel in Waiau, New Zealand, 10 days after an earthquake hit the region. New Zealand's government said Friday, March 31, 2017, the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during the earthquake November 2016 was unacceptable and could have killed people. Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building. (Iain McGregor/Pool Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

New Zealand's government says the partial collapse of a modern office building's interior floors during an earthquake last November was unacceptable and could have killed people.

Minister for Building and Construction Nick Smith said Friday that officials will review the nation's design standards and building laws following the release of a report into the performance of Wellington's Statistics House building.

The six-story office block was built in 2005 and housed government statisticians. Two concrete floors partially collapsed during the magnitude 7.8 quake, which occurred just after midnight when the building was empty.

The quake's epicenter was about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of Wellington in the town of Kaikoura.

Independent experts concluded the building's flexible frame and the stretching of its beams during the quake contributed to its poor performance.