Medical Council and Public Trust evacuate

Last updated 16:05 18/12/2013

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The Medical Council and Public Trust are evacuating their Wellington offices after being told their Willis St building is just 40 per cent of new building standard.

Medical Council communications manager George Symmes said the decision to close the offices immediately was made after it received an engineering report from the building owners yesterday.

Staff were told this morning and they immediately began packing up and shifting out of their offices on the top floor of the 13-storey block and moving out to their Lower Hutt offices.

He said that after the July and August earthquakes the council understood the building was 70 per cent compliant.

''Yesterday afternoon the council was advised that following a full engineering report the building was just 40 per cent compliant.

''The safety and well-being of staff is council's primary concern and for this reason the decision has been taken to close the office with immediate effect."

He said the council's 68 staff were working to minimise disruption to core services between now and January 6 by establishing temporary workplaces or working from home.

Human resources manager Jan O'Neill said the decision to move its  100 staff out of its three floors in the building at 139 Willis St was taken by the board.

''We took the view that that we weren't satisfied that it was the right environment for our people.''

Other tenants in the 1980's vintage building include the Nursing Council and Contact Energy.

John McStay, a director of building owner Brookfield Multiplex Capital New Zealand was unwilling to comment.

He said inquiries were being handled by the company's Australian office.

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- The Dominion Post


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