31 Mar 2016

Containers 'not viable' for capital buildings

1:05 pm on 31 March 2016

Wellington City Council will not be following the Defence Force's lead and putting shipping containers around earthquake-prone buildings in the capital.

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Photo: 123rf.com

New Zealand Defence Force put containers around the vacant General Officer in Command Headquarters building at the National War Memorial Park to protect people from falling masonry in the event of an earthquake.

But city councillor Iona Pannett said it would be impractical to do the same for the 700 earthquake prone buildings in the capital.

"We'd definitely encourage people to try and do things like either remove chimneys, or strengthen them, or other dangerous elements like parapets."

"We are in a city full of identified earthquake-prone buildings and we've just got to live with that until we can get on with the work."

The ReStart container mall in Christchurch.

The ReStart container mall in Christchurch was built after the earthquake on February 2011, which killed 185 people. Photo: RNZ / Diego Opatowski

Owners of Wellington's earthquake-prone buildings were legally bound to strengthen or demolish them within 10 to 20 years.

The value of buildings labelled with an earthquake-prone 'yellow sticker' had dropped by 45 percent by the end of last year.

Several council-owned properties are earthquake prone, including the Old Museum Stand at the Basin Reserve and the Town Hall, where strengthening work is due to start on next year.