Leaky Beehive needs more work

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 05:00 23/11/2012
Leaky Beehive
PHIL REID/Fairfax NZ
HIGH MAINTENANCE: The Beehive is leaking, meaning it will need another refit a mere six years after it had a multimillion-dollar makeover.

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It's only six years since the Beehive had a $65 million refit and already it needs a whole lot more spent on it.

The roof and windows around the top two floors, which house the Cabinet room and the prime minister's offices, are leaking, and a new layer of copper sheeting will need to be laid.

The cost of the job has not yet been finalised, but the work could take up to a year to complete, Parliamentary Service precinct manager David Stevenson said.

"There's a lot of things that still have to be worked through. It's going to take a while because we've got to stage it as we go around."

Water was getting in through expansion joints in the flat section of the roof, and another copper membrane would be placed over the top of it, he said.

There had been problems with leaks for many years. Temporary fixes meant it was not leaking at the moment, but a long-term solution needed to be found.

There were also problems with the windows. A PVC material used as sealant when the Beehive was built in the 1970s had deteriorated and many of the windows around the top two floors would have to be replaced.

Architecture firm Warren and Mahoney had been working on the project with other consultants for months.

Building company L T McGuinness had also been hired.

However, cost estimates still had to be obtained before the project started, Mr Stevenson said.

The Beehive was first sketched by British architect Sir Basil Spence on a napkin at a state banquet, according to legend.

It was built between 1969 and 1981, at a cost of more than $20m, and had a $65m refit from 1998 to 2006.

The first stage of that refit involved replacing and repairing the air conditioning and refurbishing the ministerial and Cabinet offices. The second stage included a revamp of the function rooms.

Contact Hank Schouten
Property reporter
Email: hank.schouten@dompost.co.nz

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