Wellington quake demo count could hit 20, council says

2:18 pm on 14 June 2017

A total of up to 20 Wellington buildings could be demolished because of damage from the Kaikōura earthquake, the city council says.

Revera House on Mulgrave Street in Wellington is next to Old Saint Paul's, a former church.

Revera House on Mulgrave Street in Wellington is next to Old Saint Paul's, a former church. Photo: Google Maps

At least 11 buildings were on the demolition list so far, with work completed on at least three.

Revera House on Molesworth St was one, confirmed in April as being too badly damaged to be repairable, with building manager Gunson Property Group now expecting demolition to be complete by the end of the year.

The 10-storey character building formerly housed the Education Review Office, parts of the Defence Force, the Walking Access Commission and the Maori fishing body, Te Ohu Kaimoana.

The building is currently sealed off and the interior is being stripped out.

Deconstruction of the building will start shortly.

The building manager, Gunson Property Group, says it has not yet been decided what will happen to the site after demolition.

Sydney-based AMP capital yesterday confirmed the 10-year-old Freyberg House on Aitken Street would also be demolished, as repairing it was judged uneconomic.

The demo list

  • No 61 Molesworth St - demolished
  • Reading cinema car park - demolished
  • Queensgate cinemas - demolished
  • Rugby Union building waterfront - demolished
  • Shed 35 on the waterfront - demolished
  • Revera House Molesworth St - being stripped out internally - deconstruction will start soon - due to finish by Christmas
  • Freyberg House - approval granted for demolition - expected to be finished by the end of the year
  • Statistics House - badly damaged - still under negotiation between Port Co and insurers
  • BNZ on the waterfront - still being assessed
  • Shed 29 on the waterfront - status not clear yet

The seven-storey building, which housed the Defence Force headquarters, was badly damaged in the Kaikōura earthquake.

Council building control manager Mike Scott told Morning Report he suspected other building owners would also resort to demolition.

"There will be a number of buildings around the city that will be coming down.

"People will be making value engineering decisions with their insurers to make sure that they're actually going to have longevity.

"Also, you know, people will take the opportunity to take some insurance money potentially and put a better building, a newer building, on their site."

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