Defence HQ demolition to start in 'coming weeks'

5:05 pm on 13 June 2017

Approval has been granted for demolition of the quake-hit former Defence Force head office in central Wellington.

Freyberg House (also known as Defence House) in Wellington

Visible damage to Defence House, also known as Freyberg House, in Wellington after the Kaikōura earthquake on 14 November. Photo: RNZ / Aaron Smale

The announcement came from the building owners AMP Capital, in Sydney.

Freyberg House on Aitken Street was badly damaged in the 14 November earthquake, and AMP said repairing the 10-year-old building was not economically viable.

In the aftermath of the quake, details emerged of the extent of the damage.

AMP said the building sustained broken windows and what it called 'floor disturbance'.

Earlier eyewitnesses reported the quake hurled one of the building's floors into the air, causing serious damage.

There were 900 staff working in the building before the quake.

AMP sought approval from Wellington City Council for demolition, which has approved a strategy intended to minimise inconvenience and ensure the safety of the public.

Fletcher Construction has been appointed to carry out the demolition by "controlled deconstruction".

Work will start in the coming weeks and is due to be completed by early next year.

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