After sustaining significant damage during last November’s Kaikoura earthquake, the five-storey central Wellington building will join a list of buildings that need to be demolished in the capital, the building’s owner CentrePort confirmed yesterday afternoon.
CentrePort said it could now apply to Wellington City Council for consent to safely demolish the building that has been empty since the November earthquake.
CentrePort CEO Derek Nind said “we’re pleased to have final certainty on the matter and will start planning for the building’s removal, working with our tenants, neighbours and other key stakeholders for its safe demolition.”
Statistics New Zealand CEO Liz MacPherson welcomed the news yesterday, saying it was an end to the uncertainty regarding the future of Statistics House in Wellington.
“This announcement by CentrePort means we can draw a line under our past connection with Statistics House,” she said. “Statistics New Zealand staff have been progressively moving on, both physically and mentally, from Statistics House after the quake 11 months ago.
MacPherson added that she would be “forever thankful” that the earthquake happened in the middle of the night when nobody was in the building, rather than during weekday working hours.
“I’m glad that lessons have been learnt from the Kaikoura quake that will help make office building in New Zealand safer in the future,” she said.
Statistics New Zealand was fully insured and is still working with insurers to determine a settlement. Staff have occupied other central Wellington buildings since late 2016, and have leases in place for at least another year, Statistics New Zealand confirmed.
The Government Property Group (GPG) is now looking more broadly at accommodation for Wellington-based agencies, including Statistics New Zealand.
CentrePort added it was still working with its engineers and insurers on the status of Wellington’s BNZ building.
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