Wellington Scoop

Bowen House being investigated – is it an earthquake risk?

Bowen House at left

Report from RNZ
A 22-storey tower-block in central Wellington that houses the offices of government ministers, MPs and staff is being investigated by engineers for earthquake risk.

Staff who work in Bowen House on Lambton Quay have late this afternoon received an email from the Parliamentary Service advising that it may be below code.

MPs from NZ First and the Green Party are based there, as well as Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and independent MP Jami-Lee Ross and support staff.

The building, which is leased by the government, will receive a final assessment mid-next week but speaker Trevor Mallard says there is no immediate risk.

The DomPost quotes him as saying:

“If I had had a verbal [briefing] that it was an absolute danger, and it didn’t meet the rules, then people wouldn’t be in it. And I haven’t had that. I have not been advised that people should shift out immediately, but I have been advised that it might need some strengthening.”