Statistics House in Wellington to be demolished

12:26 pm on 10 October 2017

Statistics House on Wellington's waterfront, which was badly damaged in last November's 7.8 magnitude earthquake, will be demolished.

A 2013 photo of Wellington's Statistics House, left, with a photo of damage on the ground floor following the 14 November 2017 earthquake (from March 2017 inquiry report).

A 2013 photo of Wellington's Statistics House, left, with a photo of damage on the ground floor following the earthquake. Photo: RNZ / Supplied

Wellington's port company and the building's owner, Centreport, today announced it will cost too much to repair.

The 12-year-old building has sat empty since two floors partially collapsed in the Kaikōura earthquake.

Centreport chief executive Derek Nind said it was pleasing to have certainty about the fate of the five-storey office block.

"There's a tinge of sadness with the decision. It's a relatively modern building so we're sad to see it go but the decision does bring closure and certainty for ourselves and for our tenants as well."

Derek Nind said work to demolish the building will begin before the end of the year and was expected to take three to four months.

An independent inquiry into why the building, which was built in 2005, failed so badly as a result of the earthquake was released this year.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) report found the design met industry standards at the time but this was not enough to prevent the concrete beams that held up the floors from failing.

Stats NZ chief executive Liz MacPherson said the organisation would be forever thankful the Kaikōura quake happened just before midnight when no one was in the building.

"Stats NZ staff have been progressively moving on, both physically and mentally, from Statistics House after the quake 11 months ago."

"I'm glad that lessons have been learnt from the Kaikoura quake that will help make office buildings in New Zealand safer in future," she said.

MBIE has released a report into the performance of Statistics House in Wellington during the Kaikōura earthquake.

A typical catch bracket retrofitted in 2016. Photo: Supplied / Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

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