Flood damaged building to be partially demolished today

Drone footage shows the extent of the scouring by the Probett Building.

Drone footage shows the extent of the scouring by the Probett Building.

An Auckland building, which was red-stickered after suffering severe flood damage, is being partially demolished today.

The Probett Building in the west Auckland suburb of New Lynn has been closed since March 12 when flash floods hit the area. 

Auckland Council said today's demolition would allow it access to "remediate" the neighbouring culvert. 

An overland flow path caused the walkway to collapse.
David Cunliffe/SUPPLIED

An overland flow path caused the walkway to collapse.

A section of footpath in front of the 48-year-old building caved in after waters swept through the area.

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Located within the Clark St culvert, it was an overland flow path that caused the footpath to collapse into a waterway, the council said.

A crack had also appeared on the side of the building. 

Overland flow paths are routes taken by water when the drainage network can't cope. These flow paths are a vital component of Auckland's drainage and when they are blocked they can cause floods, Auckland Council's website said. 

The Probett Building's property manager refused to confirm if the demolition was going ahead, and when it would happen.

Sanele Pauli of Club Fiafia nightclub outside the damaged building and erosion. He said the club would likely close.
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

Sanele Pauli of Club Fiafia nightclub outside the damaged building and erosion. He said the club would likely close.

"With events like this there is obviously a large number of factors that need to be dealt with and we haven't got any comment to make at this stage."

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He said he was not sure when they would be able to make a comment and did not wish to elaborate on the "factors" that were being looked at. 

Auckland Council issued the building, which houses Auckland's only nightclub Club Fiafia and at least three other businesses, with a dangerous building notice. 

The Probett Building will be partially demolished today.
SIMON SMITH/FAIRFAX NZ

The Probett Building will be partially demolished today.

Club Fiafia's owner said he expected the club would not re-open on that site, and said last week he had not been able to get in.

The building's neighbours were concerned about its safety. Agnes Tua said she thought the building would come down if it was not demolished.

Resident Justin Wang said he would not let his children near the building. He said he had not been told anything about what would happen next - and the building was a danger.

The first floor of the Probett Building has housed a nightclub for at least  the past 15 years.
MAHVASH ALI/FAIRFAX NZ

The first floor of the Probett Building has housed a nightclub for at least the past 15 years.

Under the Building Act 2004 a dangerous building is one which, in the ordinary course of events, is likely to cause injury or death to any persons in it, or to persons on other property. This included by collapse, but excluded earthquakes.

Under Auckland Council's Earthquake-Prone, Dangerous and Insanitary Buildings Policy the council must identify dangerous buildings and inform the owners, and occupiers of the building, to take action to reduce or remove the danger.

If the building was considered immediately dangerous, the council would take any action necessary to remove the danger - this included prohibiting persons using or occupying the building and demolition of all or part of the building, the policy said.

MP for New Lynn David Cunliffe said he visited the area on March 17 and said he understood Auckland Council had already received an engineering report.

"The building looked to me like it is not in good shape."

 - Stuff

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