25 Jul 2013
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Creative New Zealand has closed its office in the Old Public Trust Building on Lambton Quay until further notice while further investigation is done into the effects of Sunday’s (21 July) earthquake on the structure of the building.
After an initial inspection by structural engineers Creative New Zealand acted on advice that staff should not to return to the building. They are now working from their homes while new office accommodation is found.
The extent of the damage to the building after the most recent earthquake and the cost of earthquake strengthening will not be known until further investigation is completed.
“The safety of staff is Creative New Zealand’s first priority. This will be the Arts Council’s primary consideration as it receives new information and looks at options for the future,” said Arts Council Chairman Dick Grant.
In 2012 the Old Public Trust Building Body Corporate commissioned a report by consulting engineers Dunning Thornton into the feasibility of strengthening the building to comply with the 2004 Building Act.
That report estimated the cost of strengthening, façade restoration, temporary relocation of staff and fit-out would be between $4.6 million and $9.4 million. Creative New Zealand’s share of that would be between $2.76 million and $5.64 million.
Earlier this month the Arts Council of Creative New Zealand agreed in principle to strengthen the building subject to agreement by the whole body corporate. The Arts Council has made some provision for strengthening costs in its budget but will need to look carefully at options for funding the strengthening once updated costs are known.
Creative New Zealand will now be in discussions with the body corporate about the future of the building and is seeking a further engineers’ report on strengthening options for consideration by the Arts Council.
The Old Public Trust Building has a yellow notice stating that the building is earthquake prone and that the owners have until 2025 to either strengthen or demolish the building.
For more information please contact:
Helen Isbister, Communications Manager, Creative New Zealand, 021 244 4016