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Palace Hotel investigation underway

Palace Hotel investigation underway

Auckland Council Chief Executive Doug McKay expressed his regret that the Palace Hotel had to be demolished last night, but said the council had no other choice.

“All reasonable steps were taken to reach a sound decision, including the advice of engineers who strongly advised that the movement of the building posed a serious threat to public safety.

“After all the options were considered the final decision to demolish had to be made in the interest of preventing the building from collapse and becoming a risk to the public and surrounding buildings.”

The building continued to move towards the road throughout the evening, and by midnight had moved a total of 90mm. Windows were spontaneously breaking and the building was in danger of imminent collapse.

“It’s always a tragedy to lose a piece of Auckland’s heritage but public safety had to come first,” said Mr McKay.

The council worked closely with police, fire service, civil defence and Auckland Transport to clear and evacuate the area and some local residents were relocated to hotels for the night.

The owners were consulted throughout the process and were well aware of the inevitability of the course of action taken by the council. Their feedback was actively sought prior to the final decision.

“A timely and thorough investigation and report on the property is now underway, including learnings for any future developments involving our iconic heritage sites,” Mr McKay said.

The council will not be making any further comment until its investigation is complete.

Ends

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