22 Jul 2013

Wellington businesses taking precautions after quakes

6:40 pm on 22 July 2013

Businesses in Wellington report only minor damage to their premises, but most are taking precautionary measures and thousands of staff stayed home on Monday.

Kirkcaldie & Stains is shut for the day while it's assessed for damage, but is expected to open again on Tuesday morning.

Managing director John Milford said Kirks has between $10,000 - $15,000 worth of damage to stock.

Wellington branches of the major banks have been closed while they're assessed for any damage.

All BNZ's 1200 staff stayed home for the day on Monday and have been told it may take a week to get back into their four-year-old multi-storey building on the waterfront.

Owner of the building, Centreport, says while it looks like mayhem inside, with ceiling tiles down and water damage, it has been cleared as structurally safe.

Another property owner in Wellington's central business district, Argosy Property, says all its buildings in the city have no structural problems and have been cleared for re-occupation.

Argosy says there is some minor mainly cosmetic damage to be addressed.

Similarly, ANZ and Kiwibank's Wellington staff as well as workers at stock broking firms have been told to stay home.

Telecom has advised its 2000 Wellington staff to stay home as has lines company Chorus. Staff at the head offices of accounting software company Xero and Trade Me have been given the option of working from home.

Major property owners in Wellington, including Kiwi Income Property Trust, which owns the Majestic Centre, and Precinct Properties, which owns 10 Wellington CBD office towers, have reported only minor damage.

The NZX opened as normal with contingency plans in place to ensure market continuity.

However, Synlait Milk has moved a function marking its trading debut on Tuesday to Auckland because of the quakes.