Building Code Review

This project continues the work of an earlier preliminary review in 2013. The initial stakeholder engagement phase comprised visits to key stakeholders in Rarotonga  by Beca New Zealand consultants, Dr Richard Sharpe and Alex Edmonds on13 and 14 March 2017. They then facilitated two public workshops:

1. USP Centre Avarua , Rarotong on 15 Mach 2017

2. Ngapuariki Hall, Arutanga, Aitutaki

A further visit was made by Alex Edmonds and independent legal consultant Graham Powell in the first week of May 2017. VSA Volunteer, Strategic Planner and Policy advisor Charlie Inggs, together with senior ICI staff then facilitated public workshops in all of the Souther Group Islands except Palmerston, in May, June and July.

Alex Edmonds made a final visit in September 2017. His presentation from that visit is uploaded to this webpage and provides the background to subsequent progress work submitted by Beca. Also now uploaded is the  draft Cover, Introduction and Contents, which he shared on this visit.

This project is funded by the European Union and SPIC through EMCI as a component of the ACP-EU Building Safety & Resilience in the Pacific, the Pacific component of the 10th EDF Intra-ACP envelope for Disaster Risk Reduction envelope for Disaster Risk Reduction, known as BSRP.

The 1990 Cook Islands National Building Code together with its supporting legislative framework of the 1991 Building Control Act  1991 Building Control & Standards Regulations do not provide adequate protection against the current intensity of Cyclones and Tsunamis. This was clearly evident from the damage incurred in Aitutaki in 2010.

The review will cover an extensive review, assessment and analysis of the relevant literatures and documentation as well, stakeholder consultations. The revised documentations will eventually be released to the public during building Sector awareness and educational programmes.

Building Act:

Develop drafting instructions for a new Building Act and for consequential amendments to other relevant legislation to ensure support for the revised Building Code and supporting literature.

Provide clear understanding and extend of different roles and responsibilities mentioned in Act

Building Controls and Standard Regulation:

Establish a full review of Building control system with relevant modifications and suggestions on way forward in order for the regulatory function to operate effectively.

Recommend a system for the implementation and control of development in the outer islands.

Building Manual:

Provide acceptable solutions to meet all areas of the Building Code and more clarity in terms of newer technologies and building methods.

Review of the suitability of local timbers and building materials for construction.

Incorporate local timbers and building materials in the application tables as options for construction.


 1 A new revised Building Code Act and revised Building code manual and procedures with supporting literatures with clear understanding of the different roles and responsibilities.

 2  Complete review of the building code controls and standards with relevant modifications including implementation of building codes for the Outer Islands

 3  A building manual completely designed and overhauled with acceptable solutions to meet all areas of the building codes, and inclusive of new technologies, building methods, traditional materials and building methods as options for construction.

Beca's most recent progress work comprises the proposed updates to the Building Code which are highlighted in the copy atached to this webpage. The Home Building Manual has also been reformatted but is still being updated.

The intention is to retain Cyclone 3 as the standard for residential buildings with upgrading to Cyclone 4 standard through tie downs, following the Cook Islands Red Cross recommended procedure. Public buildings should be built to Cyclone 4 standard and Cyclone Shelters to Cyclone 5 standard.

 Feedback is invited on the proposed updates. Please submit this before 30 November 2017, if possible.