Section of the Crimes Act stopping charges being laid after CTV collapse

A section in the Crimes Act may be the reason that police were unable to lay charges following the death of 115 people in the collapse of the CTV building.

The building pancaked in the February 2011 earthquake but police announced on November 30, 2017, that no charges would be laid following a criminal inquiry.

That decision may have been made due to section 162a of the Crimes Act, which says nobody can be held criminally responsible for the death of somebody else more than one year and one day following the cause of death.

In this case the design of the CTV building in 1986 and its collapse in 2011 are too far apart for prosecution.

Speaking to Three's The Project Massey University pro vice-chancellor Chris Sullivan said he believes if section 162a did not exist a prosecution would have been possible.

"Crown law spent a lot of time talking about this section 162, the year and a day rule so I think we can confidently surmise that if it wasn't there that we would have been looking at a prosecution instead," he said.

Watch the video for the full The Project interview.