Is anyone prepared to say it yet?

Wellington is rooted…and it hasn’t even been hit by a close earthquake.

Another building is now being cleared.

Tenants of a Wellington high-rise are being told the steel holding them up stretched during the magnitude 7.8 Kaikoura quake.

The building, at 36 Customhouse Quay, was one of 80 that Wellington City Council ordered undergo extra testing due to potential faults discovered after the Kaikoura quake, which hit on November 14.

Andrew Cotterrell​, one of the building’s owners, said an engineer’s report came back on Friday which revealed the jolt had caused steel in the building to stretch.

Engineers did not say tenants had to be moved out but suggested their findings needed to be peer-reviewed, Cotterrell said.

But the building’s owners had told some tenants, and planned to tell all of them, of the problems.

Sounds like they don’t know whether they are Arthur or Martha.

Of those it had told, three tenants had decided to temporarily relocate, Cotterrell said.

The building has 12 commercial floors plus four apartments, which were already empty while they were being refurbished.

Richard Findlay, managing director of Colliers International, said a decision had been made for staff to work from home on Monday as the company’s engineers digested the 70-page report.

“We won’t know what the implications are until our engineers look at the report.

“It might be nothing or it might be compelling, but until there’s certainty as a precaution our staff won’t be coming in,” Findlay said.

A report, released in May by crisis management firm Kestrel Group, identified 80 Wellington buildings including 36 Customhouse Quay for intensive earthquake testing.

The 80 buildings were chosen because they shared similar characteristics to Statistics House, on Wellington’s waterfront, which partially collapsed in November’s Kaikoura earthquake.

Those shared characteristics were that the buildings were four to 15 storeys high. Each had a reinforced concrete structure, particularly with precast floors, and they were all built on soft soils with flexible design.

Not that flexible and now the buildings have experienced a magnitude 6 plus earthquake and are pretty stuffed.



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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.