Wellington Scoop

Upper Hutt closes events venue – unsafe in a quake

News from Upper Hutt City Council
As of 3.00 pm today, the Hapai building in Upper Hutt has been closed until further notice. The closure comes on the back of a detailed seismic report for the building. The report, carried out by Silvester Clark Limited, has identified the building as earthquake prone.

A hirable venue, located at 879 – 881 Fergusson Drive, the Hapai building is classed as an importance level 2 (IL2) facility. With a part of the building meeting less than 34% of the new building standards (NBS) – this effectively classes the venue as earthquake prone.

Under the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Act 2016, as an earthquake prone building this facility could have its ultimate capacity exceeded in a moderate earthquake. If the building were to collapse, the collapse would be likely to cause injury or death.

Considering the report’s findings and the safety of the public and staff, the Council has elected to close the building immediately.

“Our priority is safety for people,” says Council’s Chief Executive, Peter Kelly. “As we work through the details in the report, we’ll be able to consider what further actions we need to take in relation to this venue.”

“We can’t yet determine exactly what remedial actions will be taken,” says the Council’s Director of Community Services, Mike Ryan. “Once we have a clear set of options on the table, we’ll assess these and make a decision.”

The Council acknowledges that the timing is not convenient for the many groups that either use the venue on a regular basis or have current bookings for special events. The Council does have a list of alternative venues on our website with a downloadable booklet profiling halls for hire in the city: www.upperhuttcity.com/event-venues

Mr Ryan also notes that a recent report highlighted an abundance of potential venues in the city that are under-utilised, “Groups should be able to find alternative venues by approaching local churches, schools, sports clubs, scout groups or businesses.”

1 comment:

  1. Harry McNaugh, 19. November 2019, 6:41

    The Upper Hutt Council’s now got the yellow fever. All buildings (all things on the ground including the so called strengthened ones) are “earthquake prone” . The council is busy doing things it shouldn’t, so they have no time/energy to do things that are needed.