Wellington Scoop

First stage of choosing a contractor for strengthening the Town Hall


The first stage of choosing a contractor to strengthen the 113-year-old Wellington Town Hall has at last begun.

A call for construction companies to register their interest in tendering for the big job – budgetted by the city council as costing almost $90million – was opened on Friday and closes on Friday 16 March.

The two-stage process is advertised on the website of the Government Electronic Tenders Service.

Here’s the official description:

The Wellington Town Hall is an important Wellington community asset with outstanding historical, social, cultural and heritage significance.

The Town Hall was assessed as earthquake-prone in 2009 and was subsequently closed pending either the carrying out of earthquake strengthening works or demolition (in whole or in part) so that the Town Hall ceases to be earthquake prone.

Wellington City Council has now decided to redevelop the Town Hall by earthquake strengthening the Town Hall. The development of the Town Hall may also potentially include undertaking certain tenant fit-out works in respect of areas within the Town Hall.

This ROI is an invitation for suitably qualified suppliers to submit a Registration to be potentially selected for a shortlist of Respondents to proceed to the second step in the procurement process. In the second step, only those shortlisted Respondents may be invited to submit a detailed proposal in response to a Request for Tender (RFT) for the main contractor for certain development work.

Interested potential respondents should review the selected architectural and structural engineering drawings provided for the earthquake strengthening solution to assess the resources required and to help develop their response to this ROI.

The development of the Town Hall is an important and high profile project for the Council and also for Wellington.

The city council’s website describes the extent of the project as:

The Town Hall will be strengthened and upgraded over three years approximately, with these extra features:

The tiered Ilott Theatre will become a flat floor space suitable for standalone performances and a support space for the main auditorium.

The West Hall (between the Town Hall and the Municipal Office Building) will be rebuilt to provide access from Wakefield Street to Civic Square and a link to the adjacent building.

The main auditorium will have a new, stronger floor. A new basement under the main auditorium will provide public toilets and usable space. Servicing storage and public facilities will be improved, including better loading facilities in the main auditorium with a second stage lift.

The Town Hall pipe organ has been restored and will be reinstalled.

Scanning technology will be used to determine accurate measurements and options. Once the building is scanned, the data will be imported into 3D drafting software to determine strengthening options. The architects can then use the actual dimensions in their drawings to create 3D models.

January 31: Resource consent lodged
June 22: Councillors unanimously endorse strengthening of Town Hall
March 30: Doing the right thing for the Town Hall


  1. Helene Ritchie, 18. February 2018, 13:35

    I am tempted to say “about time,” but will refrain from that. I understand the time of the previous resource consent had expired – so now there is a possible further delay because the resource consent application by the Council to the Council may be granted non notified – that is without the public having a chance to comment. A decision to notify or not will be made at the end of February apparently. It would seem in law that the resource consent should be publicly notified – this application in no way could be seen as not more than “minor”. Better to have public input, support and comment now through publicly notifying, than a delay from some other tortuous Court process.

    Thanks for the detail on this important project which I watch with interest.

  2. Mike Austin, 13. March 2018, 0:19

    Helene, I believe publicly owned works of fine art are above and beyond the scope of the court of public opinion as to whether or not they ought to be saved. They either are cherished and saved or they vanish forever — there is no bringing them back once they’re gone.

    Necessity for instantaneous public support can be a huge risk to the longevity and permanence of the cultural heart of a community.