Wellington Scoop

E-Mail 'They've agreed at last: a deal is signed for the music centre' To A Friend

Email a copy of 'They've agreed at last: a deal is signed for the music centre' to a friend

* Required Field

Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.

Separate multiple entries with a comma. Maximum 5 entries.

E-Mail Image Verification

Loading ... Loading ...


  1. Tom, 18. June 2019, 16:27

    It certainly is great news that the national music centre (and I notice that this moniker goes uncapitalised in all the official documents which would suggest it’s only a working title) is going ahead, however, it’s slightly unfortunate that the Council are the ones lumped with the majority of the cost – yet again. Apart from the rent of the building for 25 years, it will probably cost the University next to nothing, considering the fit-out costs will be largely (if not entirely) covered by fundraising. In addition, the NZSO also received a reasonable allocation of $6m in this year’s budget to go towards its fit-out costs.

    As for how much the MOB portion of the music centre will cost (and in particular how much it will cost ratepayers), originally the figure for the entire centre was touted as $187m. This was when VUW were purchasing (or being given) the building and when the Town Hall was costing $90m to strengthen. This would mean that the cost of the MOB portion of the centre was then considered to be close to $100m. However, now that VUW are no longer doing the work themselves, I think the MOB proposals will be downgraded. Judging by the initial renders, the building was going to be quite extensively altered – I would say that this was where much of the money was going. I now notice that the render used in the official release has changed and the cut-out on the MOB’s ground floor, that was going to be its entrance, has gone and the new render shows an unaltered building. And unlike the Town Hall, I think the strengthening needed to the MOB will be a much simpler affair; it’s not being retrospectively base-isolated and it’s a relatively modern building (and actually 41% is not a terrible rating – for comparison, the Library is 15%).

  2. Ms Green, 18. June 2019, 18:50

    The library was 43% NBS before the Portico (that glassed-in aerial bridge between the library and the CAB) was removed in order to bring its rating and safety up. Now some people are saying it is only 15% NBS. Where did that figure come from?
    Even the Council’s announcement on its sudden closure said the library was not earthquake prone (i.e. not under 33% NBS). It was closed because some new guidelines from MBIE made it suddenly “unsafe.”
    The library will always bring more people into the civic centre, than the national music centre (University lecture theatres) ever will. But the building will be saved.

  3. Tom, 18. June 2019, 20:31

    Ms Green, the NBS rating of the library is up for interpretation really. The engineer’s report gave the building two ratings: one was a reflection of the current NBS system (which from memory was in the 60% range) and the other was in light of the information unearthed by an MBIE report commissioned after the Kaikoura earthquake (which looked into the failure of similar buildings). This other rating, of between 15 and 25 per cent, is not an official rating but is the effective rating based on various factors to do with its construction. The engineer’s report found that there was significant risk of the library “pancaking” in the event of an earthquake because of the hollowcore flooring which was supported by inadequate brackets and which was compounded by the building having large and irregular floorplates (irregular because of atria and elevators which are not usually present in an ordinary building). And because it’s a council building, the cautious option of closing it has been chosen even though its official rating by no means compels this closure.

    I’d say many buildings in the CBD built with the same construction method are in the same boat, except, since these are privately owned, the owner is probably clinging on to the “official” rating, though in reality the building is prone to unacceptable failure. Bowen House, at this stage, is the only other building that has been reported as needing investigation because of its hollowcore flooring, but it was a common construction method between the 1980s and late 2000s and so there are many more buildings with potential problems (their inhabitants just don’t happen to be MPs). When the NBS rating system is updated to reflect the MBIE report’s findings, there will be a lot of unhappy building owners and, unless a solution to fixing the flooring is found, a lot of demolition as well.

  4. michael, 18. June 2019, 22:53

    Does anyone (including councillors) know the cost of this to the ratepayers and how much return the council is expecting over 25 years?

  5. Ms Green, 19. June 2019, 8:11

    Tom thanks for your explanation. I was aware of this but it is helpful to repeat it. Many multi-storey buildings are so affected. But there is only one fact in all of this. The library is not 15%NBS, as the latest guidelines are not law. If a new problem has been identified and it is serious enough, then fix it and get on with life and enjoying our library.

  6. michael, 19. June 2019, 9:09

    Ms Green: At the rate the council is going, it will not be a “civic” square any more. Sounds like they are not going back there and, if the town hall is anything to go by, there won’t be a decision about the library for years.