’No timeframe’ for re-entry to evacuated building

The evacuation of 79 Boulcott Street. - Photo: RNZ / Rebekah Parsons-King

Tenants of the Wellington City building evacuated last week are still uncertain as to when they'll be able to re-enter the building.

Up to 700 people were evacuated from the Boulcott Street building after a City Council engineer identified cracks throughout the building were more severe than originally thought.

Telecommunication company, 2 Degrees, took up one of thirteen floors in the building.

It says more than 30 of their staff members have had to move to an interim office space in the city.

They described the temporary relocation as like being in a holding-pattern.

Another tenant told RNZ most businesses haven't arranged temporary offices as they don't know how long they'll need them.

In an email from the building's manager, obtained by RNZ, tenants were told there is currently no timeframe for completion of the work - but one could be expected this week.

But the remedial work would be completed quicker in a vacant building, tenants were told.

"In order to repair the work as soon as possible and to get everyone back in the building, it is better for the work to be completed in one go rather than focusing time on going through and temporarily propping the floors which would take a long time," the email stated.

The building's manager, engineers and contractors met yesterday - and identified a number of problems around the 'method of work' that need to be resolved before repair work can begin.

A number of meetings have been scheduled to work through those issues this week - including a meeting between engineers and contractors tomorrow and a meeting with the City Council on Friday.

If tenants required urgent items from their offices, they were told they could arrange to be escorted into the building in 15 minute intervals by appointment.