When will someone actually start telling the truth about how rooted Wellington is?

It looks like another building in Wellington is going to have come down since the earthquake in Kaikoura.

Wellington City Council needs to make a decision in coming months as to whether it repairs its civic administration building or demolishes it.

The six-storey pink building on Civic Square, built in the early 1990s, has been closed since the 7.8 Kaikoura earthquake last November.

On Monday, council spokesman Richard MacLean said the cost of the various options facing the council would be an important deciding factor.

A decision on the long-term future of the building would not be made for some months.   

In the meantime, temporary props are being installed to allow some access into the building, so equipment can be retrieved from the building by a relocation company.

The propping would be installed of all levels of the building, including under the walkway in front of the building on Wakefield St, council chief executive Kevin Lavery said.

The civic administration building was on a list of about 80 buildings around the city that needed to have invasive testing by engineers following the Kaikoura quake. The council has previously stated it would not release engineering reports for the building.

I highlighted this issue several months ago and was pooh-poohed by all and sundry. Since then, however, several buildings have been dropped and many more are slated to also go.

Our building code is good. Our buildings are designed to withstand a magnitude 6 plus quake and keep people alive…once. Therein lies the problem.

Once you have a magnitude 6 plus quake then all those buildings are essentially rooted without very expensive repairs. Building owners are being pragmatic…they are demolishing them.

If they don’t do something and another quake arrives there are no guarantees for those buildings. There is also the likelihood of OSH prosecutions for failing to ensure a safe workplace.

Someone soon is going to have to start telling the truth about Wellington.

 

-Fairfax

 


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