Repairs to Wellington City Council headquarters expected to cost more than $30 million

Damaged, but repairable. The cost to repair the civic administration building, part of the Wellington City Council's ...

Damaged, but repairable. The cost to repair the civic administration building, part of the Wellington City Council's headquarters, is expected to be more than $30 million.

Wellington City Council has warned its insurers that the repair bill for earthquake related damage to one of its buildings is expected to be more than $30 million.

The pink, six-storey civic administration building, which was built in the 1990s has been closed since the November 14 earthquake.

As well as acting as the council's main public service centre and iSite centre for tourists, the building previously housed around 450 employees.

In the days after the earthquake the council said the building did not appear to have structural damage, but in July chief executive Kevin Lavery warned it could be closed for three years.

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On Friday chief financial officer Andy Matthews said an assessment of the cost of repairs, which he described as "initial" was somewhere between $30m and $40m.

The building was insured for around $48m, Matthews said. The council's assessment was now in the hands of the insurers.

"The work that we've done to date and the initial estimates that we've had of the damage and the repair assessment indicate that the building is repairable," Matthew said.

"We're obviously keen to get things underway and the building repaired," Matthews said.

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"Sometimes they [insurers] can come to a conclusion pretty quickly. Other times it takes some time, particularly due to the complexity of the repair and there is some complexity in the [civic administration building] repair," Matthews said.

"There's some structural damage which needs to be addressed as part of the repair."

In 2014 the portico which linked the civic administration building with the nearby central library was removed because it was deemed to be an earthquake risk.

The future of a number of Wellington office buildings which have been closed since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake remain in doubt.

Port company CentrePort has released documents showing Statistics House and BNZ's Harbour Quay's buildings are expected to be empty for at least the next two years.

The Wellington City Council annual report, released on Friday, revealed the council had taken an $11.5m impairment on the civic administration building.

So far the council has spent $4.1m from its reserves fund related to earthquake repairs and relocation costs, with many staff moved into temporary offices.

Most of the costs related to disruption related to the civic administration building, Matthews said. The costs would continue to accrue to the council until disruption related to the civic administration building reached $5m, the insurance excess.

The annual report reveals the council made an underlying surplus of $10.6m. Most of the surplus relates to the deferment of capital projects, as well as higher than expected revenue from building consents and landfills.






 - Stuff


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