19 Aug 2013

Wellington heritage building owner reluctant to spend on strengthening

8:28 pm on 19 August 2013

The owner of a Wellington heritage building says he is not prepared to spend big money on a structure that is so earthquake-prone.

An appeal is underway after a panel of independent commissioners turned down Mark Dunajtschik's application to demolish the Harcourt Building on Lambton Quay.

The 85-year-old building has a category 1 heritage status but is also under an earthquake prone building notice ordering it to be strengthened or demolished.

Mr Dunajtschik's gave evidence on Monday defending his right to demolish the building.

He says he would only consider strengthening the building to 100% of the new building standard but that is not commercially viable.

Earlier, a tenant told the court he was in the building during the 6.6 magnitude jolt that shook Wellington on Friday.

He says it was disturbing as the building moved quite violently.