Heritage fund goes towards quake strengthening

12:42 pm on 2 February 2017

Wellington's councillors have agreed to use $1 million dollars of heritage funding to help secure 244 buildings with unreinforced masonry.

Toomath Building on Ghuznee Street in Wellington has had a red sticker for many years.

Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

The Government is contributing $2 million dollars to the pool, to help building owners secure or strengthen unreinforced masonry facades and parapets within a year.

Wellington mayor Justin Lester said he was comfortable with the money coming from a heritage fund, despite just a third of the 244 buildings being heritage-listed.

"It'll make sure that they are pinned back - their facades are pinned back, parapets are either pinned back or removed - within 12 months.

"As we saw in Christchurch 40 people died as a result of unreinforced masonry falling on top of individuals and that's not a situation I want to have reoccur in Wellington."

If buildings were not strengthened within a year, the council could be forced to do the work or buy the building, Mr Lester said.

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