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Port Otago deemed the cost of refurbishing the building to be prohibitive, as the building was earthquake-prone and contractors recently had to remove asbestos from the roof.
The building, known as "the Bureau", was built in 1946 and served as the Waterfront Industry Commission building.
It is not a listed heritage building but has strong links to the town's maritime history, as the branch headquarters of the Maritime Union of New Zealand and as the Port Chalmers centre of the 1951 waterfront dispute. The site is expected to be cleared by the end of the month.
-By Samuel Rillstone