A closed sign at the Wanaka Community Pool yesterday. Photo by Lucy Ibbotson.
Wanaka's community pool has been closed indefinitely because
it does not meet earthquake standards.
The pool was engineered by disgraced Southland designer Tony
The Queenstown Lakes District Council confirmed the closure
in a press statement yesterday afternoon, soon after chief
executive Adam Feeley revealed to the Otago Daily Times it
was investigating potentially four buildings in the district
- two council facilities and two private buildings - which
were worked on by Mr Major.
Wanaka's community was already divided over whether the pool
should be upgraded or whether millions of dollars should be
poured into a new aquatic centre.
Earlier this week, Mr Major was expelled from the Institution
of Professional Engineers for incompetence, after the
Southland Stadium, which he engineered, collapsed in a heavy
snowstorm in 2010.
The institution said all his work should be checked.
Mr Feeley said of the two council buildings possibly
associated with Mr Major, one had been structurally checked
The council's press statement said an engineering assessment
put Wanaka's pool at about 20% of the current earthquake
Public safety should not be risked before a decision was made
about strengthening the building, Mr Feeley said.
The council statement did not name the other council building
with which Mr Major was involved, but earlier Mr Feeley said
no issues were identified in an initial desktop assessment of
the building's design.
''The mere fact that Tony Major is involved with the
engineering doesn't of itself change anything,'' he said.
''There will be lots of buildings in Otago and Southland he
has been involved with.
''If there is a perception that having Tony Major's name next
to [a design] means there is a problem, that would be a very
dangerous perception to have, and largely wrong.''
Mr Feeley said the council would ''absolutely not'' name the
privately owned buildings which were thought to have been
engineered by Mr Major.
One building was definitely designed by Mr Major and the
council had contacted the owner. Yesterday afternoon council
staff were checking records to confirm Mr Major's involvement
The council would raise the issue of Mr Major's involvement
with the building owners, and while the council wanted to be
informed of any potential issues, any decisions over possible
remedial work was for them, he said.
Invercargill City Council building regulation services
manager Simon Tonkin said yesterday his staff were still
compiling a list of buildings Mr Major had worked on.
He said that given the failure of long-span steel trusses at
Stadium Southland, they were initially focusing on checking
commercial buildings which had long-span steel trusses.
Council staff were checking their files and approaching
designers and builders to identify city projects Mr Major had
Issues about Mr Major's work were not the main focus of
yesterday's southern cluster meeting of building control
managers in Alexandra, but Mr Tonkin said the opportunity was
taken to update other managers on the approach each was
taking to identify Mr Major's work.