A Wellington property developer has won an appeal in his battle over a landmark building on Lambton Quay.
Mark Dunajtschik had sought to demolish the heritage-listed Harcourts Building, saying no other action was economic.
The Environment Court ruled against him.
But the High Court has ordered the Environment Court to rehear the case and take account of the risk to public safety if the earthquake-prone building remains as it is.
Justice Collins also said demolition should be considered only if there is no reasonable alternative.
Mark Dunajtschik welcomed the High Court ruling but said it was just one stage in a battle. In the meantime, he said he was stuck with an uneconomic property.
Mr Dunajtschik said it was a building in the centre of Wellington with only two or three people working in it which was a totally irrational situation and there could be 700 people working in a new building.
He said a properly developed site would increase rates for the city council five fold.