Wellington Scoop

Council staff starting move (temporary?) out of Civic Square

News from WCC
The first Wellington City Council staff are scheduled to shift from Civic Square to temporary offices on The Terrace after Labour Weekend in October.

The Mayor’s Office and Council meeting rooms will be relocated to the multi-storey building at 113 The Terrace over the Christmas period. Meetings of the City Council and its committees will be held in chambers on the 16th floor of the building.

At the moment the Mayor’s Office and committee rooms are in the Municipal Office Building (MOB) beside the Town Hall. Heavy and noisy construction work is due to start in the Town Hall in the New Year – meaning the MOB will be unsuitable for occupation.

City Council Chief Executive Kevin Lavery says the shift to The Terrace, coupled with the introduction of modern flexible ways of working which will enable higher utilisation of space, means the Council can temporarily relocate without any rates impact.

“The building has a 90% NBS rating which will significantly improve our resilience as a Council, which is important given our role as a first responder in an emergency.”

Mr Lavery says while the official address of the temporary Council building is 113 The Terrace, it has convenient lift access from Lambton Quay so people will have flexibility for access.

The Council’s customer-facing service centre and contact centre will relocate to retail space in the CBD. Negotiations are under way over a preferred location.


  1. Ben Schrader, 3. September 2018, 15:46

    It’s not explicit in this press release as to when, or if, the Council will return to Civic Square. There was some (loose?) talk about leasing the Municipal Office Building at one stage to an outside party, but I don’t know where that’s at. Neither is there any news about what’s happening to the neighbouring Civic Administration Building – the pink one damaged in the Kaikoura earthquake. Can we have another press release answering these questions?

  2. Lindsay Shelton, 3. September 2018, 15:54

    In 2017, the Municipal Office Building was earmarked for teaching and administrative space both for the university’s Music School and for the NZSO. But at the end of last year, the university – which had been expected to buy the building – declined to go ahead with the deal. Vice-Chancellor Grant Guilford said the fact it was on reclaimed land had thrown up concerns, particularly after the Civic Administration Building next door was badly damaged by the 2016 Kaikoura quake. “The impacts of this type of earthquake on buildings on reclaimed land such as Civic Square poses new design and cost issues which we need to better understand.”

  3. Ben Schrader, 3. September 2018, 17:46

    Thanks for this Lindsay. It would still be good to an update from the WCC about whether or not they’ll be moving back to Civic Square. It is the Council’s presence in the square that reinforces the civic attributes of the space. If the Council doesn’t return, might a name change be in order? [I agree. The intention to sell the MOB to the university would indicate that the council didn’t intend to return, with the fate of the CAB being uncertain.]

  4. mark, 3. September 2018, 23:17

    Actually it’s now likely that the University will be taking over the Municipal Office Building for the Music School after all, but as the tenant, not as the owner. Here is an announcement from the University on August 23.

  5. Greenwelly, 4. September 2018, 9:09

    @mark, I’m getting the feeling the Uni wants the Council to stump up the money to bring the MOB up to earthquake standard, rather than being responsible for it themselves…..

    This will presumably throw a nice spanner into the Council’s Long term plan as it likely presumed that it would not have to find the capital to do this (although I’m assuming that the Uni would face a higher rental price, as the building is of a higher standard)

  6. Lindsay, 4. September 2018, 10:57

    The DomPost reports today: The tower on The Terrace is to provide [city council] accommodation from late October until the council can build or find a new home. It is understood the council signed a minimum five-year lease for several floors of the building, owned by the Canadian Pension Fund, with the flexibility to remain there for eight years.

  7. Citizen Joe, 4. September 2018, 11:44

    Pity WCC didn’t move into the Gordon Wilson Flats. On the Terrace just down from the University, so nice and central with a lovely outlook over the harbour. Adequate space for Justin’s electric car and Ken Lavery could have had a room at the top.