Seafarers may lose their home away from home at Port Nelson because the building does not meet earthquake standards.
The Mission to Seafarers, a charity providing shelter at a Port Nelson building for up to 50 seamen and women a day, has been put on notice.
Port Nelson chief executive Martin Byrne said the building was deemed 33 per cent less than the required new building standards in an internal review of all buildings at the port.
Mr Byrne had been speaking with the Mission to Seafarers, which was given the building free of rent, but was unable to guarantee finding a new location for it at the port.
The cost of repairing the building was being worked out and depending on that, it may be demolished, he said.
"We'll try to find somewhere else for them, but there's only so many buildings at the port," he said.
Seafarers Nelson centre manager James Nelson said dozens of seamen and women working at sea, away from family for three to six months at a time, used the centre each week to contact home or as an alternative to visiting a pub and drinking.
The industry was changing and the previous perception of drunken seamen was no longer encouraged.
Some days the two-storeyed centre, which offered computers, games and hot drink facilities, was used by up to 50 men and women, depending on how many boats were in port.
"The old days have long gone when men would go off to the pub and hang out with prostitutes," Mr Nelson said.
"These days we have men and women, most are Filipinos or Thai, and they are just working to help their families," he said.
The centre recently had three new computers donated, allowing men and woman to use the internet to contact home.
It was staffed by about 18 volunteers from 7pm to 10pm each night, but they were desperate for more volunteers to extend opening hours.
"If we could find volunteers to manage it during the day then we would open it.
"We do really need daytime volunteers.
"A lot of these guys are away from family for three to six months, so it's just about being a friend or playing a game and giving them some support - it's a tough job and they don't have anywhere else to go," Mr Nelson said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
What do you think Nelson's motto should be?Related story: (See story)