Quake risk closes PostShop

Hamilton's only central city PostShop is to close after New Zealand Post decided the Bryce St building it leases did not meet its standards for earthquake strength.

The move is further evidence that commercial tenants are now rejecting buildings at the lower end of current standards for earthquake strength.

Spokesman John Tulloch confirmed that the company’s ongoing seismic assessments had shown the site was below required earthquake strength.

‘‘NZ Post is doing seismic assessments of all the buildings it either owns or leases, around the country. We’ve got an A or B standard that we stay, anything below that we look to vacate or take remedial action,’’ he said.

NZ Post has set a threshhold of at least 66 per cent of building code for seismic strength, well beyond the current 33 per cent minimum standard below which a building is deemed earthquake prone by the Building Act.

Elsewhere the company has upgraded a Riccarton site and closed one in napier. A Greymouth PostShop was undergoing a seismic assessment.

‘‘This one has come up below code as far as our policy goes. The lease for that property comes up on January 31, so we’ve made a decision to vacate because it couldn’t be guaranteed to come up to standards by then.’’

‘‘No decisions have been made on staff, we’ve got to go through a process on that and we’ll look to redeploy them. And to be fair on our people, it would be unfair to speculate on that process as well,’’ said Mr Tulloch.

The company had not found any ‘‘economic’’ alternatives in the CBD.

Mr Tulloch said there were two PostShops - Frankton and Hamilton East within 2km of Bryce St, and other Post Centres 300m and 700m away.

The current 556 post office boxes at the Bryce St site will be relocated to the Waikato Mail Centre, and box holders will be informed next week.

Waikato Times