Businesses interrupted after quakes

LAURA BASHAM
Last updated 12:57 23/07/2013
Aukaha
MARION VAN DIJK/FAIRFAX NZ
OPEN AGAIN: Morrison St Cafe manager Andy Waddington outside the building that was closed yesterday for earthquake-risk assessment.

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Morrison St Cafe reopened yesterday after having to evacuate customers and close yesterday for a seismic assessment of its buildings.

Closures that continued yesterday for structural checks following the series of quakes included the two Farmers Nelson stores in Trafalgar St and Bridge St, the ANZ branches at 248 Trafalgar St and at Motueka, and the Community Groups Centre in Halifax St. The other ANZ Nelson branch and the Ministry of Education's Nelson office that were shut yesterday reopened today.

The Morrison St Cafe had opened as usual on Monday morning but at 10am was advised to shut.

The heritage-listed building is in the Fashion Island shopping centre which is owned by ACC. Centre manager Nicola Dolan said there were a couple of superficial cracks in the building. "We felt it prudent to get it checked by our structural engineer."

The bread was baking when cafe manager Andy Waddington had to send the five other staff home.

The cafe got the all clear to reopen just after noon but by then he assessed it was not worth it by the time he recalled the staff, who were not displeased to get a half day off.

"It was a substantial loss of trade. Usually I would make 250 coffees a day and today I made just 50 in 2 hours."

Opus project manager Alastair Wiffen, in Nelson, said they had been called to do seismic assessments on a couple of buildings to see if there was any structural damage.

These were precautionary measures. Sometimes it was landlords and sometimes tenants who wanted assessments done. No damage had been found, he said.

Shoppers were surprised at the closures, not finding out until they read notices on the doors.

The ANZ notices told customers that because of earthquakes the branch would be closed until it was assessed to be safe. Both Richmond branches remained open.

Both the Farmers' Home Centre and the Stevens shop in the same Bridge St building were closed, along with the Farmers department store on Trafalgar St although shops in the neighbouring Nelson Central Arcade were open.

The Canterbury Community Trust advised that the Community Groups Centre at 50 Halifax St was to be closed until an engineer's report was undertaken. It is the headquarters for 18 organisations ranging from Volunteer Nelson to Lifeline.

Checks had been made on Nelson and Wairau Hospitals which were continuing to operate normally, said the Nelson Marlborough District Health Board.

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