Press gallery (on top of thousands of public servants) evacuated

The earthquake aftermath continues in Wellington with the latest evacuation being from the Parliamentary press gallery building.

Political journalists have been complaining about their offices for a few days.

Stuff: Political reporters vacating Parliamentary press gallery office over earthquake concerns

Fairfax Media political reporters were told by their managers on Thursday to vacate the press gallery building behind Parliament, which has been yellow stickered as an earthquake prone building since 2014.

Fairfax Media executive editor Sinead Boucher said numerous factors underpinned the decision to remove reporting staff from the parliamentary press gallery annex.

There had been engineer’s reports since the major quake on November 14, which indicated the building had suffered no major damage and was safe to occupy.

However, the same building had been under a yellow sticker since 2014 and as recently as Thursday, there was confirmation that parts of the building met only 20 per cent of code.

It is understood Radio New Zealand and Television New Zealand staff have also been told by their managers to leave.

She said she was aware that Radio New Zealand held similar concerns and had earlier today confirmed that its parliamentary reporting staff would be moving out.

“The fact that two major news organisations feel this level of concern for where their staff are currently operating from should not be under-estimated. We urgently need Parliamentary Services to work with us on safer options,” Boucher said.

This follows news today that the Wellington City Council will demolish three of their own buildings.

And Radio NZ reports that at least 3,000 of the capital’s 18,000 public servants are out of their offices. Quake aftermath: 1 in 6 public servants forced out:

The 15-floor Asteron Centre, on Featherston St opposite the railway station, was evacuated yesterday after an engineer’s report found quake-damaged stairwells could be unusable in a major aftershock.

The building is six years old, and is home to 2700 workers, including hundreds of Inland Revenue and Civil Aviation Authority staff.

An IRD spokesman said engineers confirmed today there was a safety issue.

He said the building houses 2000 IRD workers and some have already been relocated to temporary office space.

The Government Property Group is already dealing with about 2000 displaced public servants, following the closures of Defence House, Statistics House and a series of buildings around the condemned block at 61 Molesworth St.

Going by those numbers there must be many other workers evacuated on top of the public servants.


Leave a comment


  1. I just hope they are not allowed back given their recent single eyed reporting. Take time out to clean the stables!

    • Gezza

       /  24th November 2016

      Once you start making up lists of proscribed reporters you don’t want to hear from you are getting on to slippery ground Bj

  2. spanish_tudor

     /  24th November 2016

    Seems like a good opportunity to lay off 3,000 unneeded public servants.

  3. Time to move to Auckland.


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