Building to be vacated

Some staff at the Southland District Council’s headquarters in Forth St are on the move as one of three council buildings is deemed to be earthquake prone.

Following a detailed seismic assessment of the council’s head office building, the 1940s brick building closest to Clyde St, it was considered earthquake prone.

The engineers’ report emphasises the building poses "little to no risk to life" in normal conditions, but the council made the decision to permanently move out of the building.

SDC chief executive Steve Ruru said this would happen "in a timely and controlled manner over the next few months".

Staff who work in the building would be relocated into temporary, leased office space elsewhere in the city.

"We are not prepared to take the risk, however small it may be," he said.

The decision to vacate the building does not affect public access to the council’s customer reception area. This is located in the central annexe building of the three adjoining buildings that make up the council’s headquarters.

Structural engineers have yet to complete their assessment of the other two SDC buildings..

Council employees will continue to work in both of those buildings in the meantime.


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