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More Wellington buildings coming down

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 15/12/2016

Work is starting on bringing down two buildings on Wellington's waterfront badly damaged by the Kaikoura earthquake.

The already earthquake-prone former New Zealand Rugby Union building and Shed 35 are joining 61 Molesworth Street, the Reading Cinema car park and part of the Queensgate Mall carparking building as Wellington's casualties of last month's big quake.

Shed 35 was a warehouse built in 1915 and while the Wellington City Council lists it as a heritage building it is not on Heritage New Zealand's list of historic buildings.

The severely damaged building posed a risk to nearby Bluebridge ferry operations in case another quake hit.

"It's very important to have alternative transport links in the event of a natural disaster, such as the two Cook Strait ferry services," CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said.

Wellington City Council planning manager Warren Ulusele says it has been a "tough but necessary call" allow the demolition.

"We'll do as much as possible to retain the city's heritage, but in this case we have a seriously damaged building in danger of collapse.

There is asbestos in the roof and a compound will be sprayed to contain the material before demolition.

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