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Hunter Shaw Building Closed for Assessment

22 August 2013

Hunter Shaw Building Closed for Assessment

The Hunter Shaw Building in Patea has been closed to the public while an engineer’s assessment is undertaken to determine whether the building could withstand a moderate earthquake.

This move comes after Plunket NZ, a regular user, asked Council for guarantees about the building’s structural integrity. At the same time cracks were found inside the building after the recent series of Seddon earthquakes.

South Taranaki District Council CEO Craig Stevenson says Wednesday’s Community Board meeting, usually held in the Hunter Shaw building, was moved to the District Museum across the road. Other bookings will not be made until the building has been assessed.

“Our priority is ensuring community and staff safety. After we found increased damage to Hunter Shaw in the wake of the recent Seddon earthquakes, we decided the responsible thing to do was close the building until a proper and thorough investigation has been done.”

Mr Stevenson says the extent of the damage will not be known until it has been assessed by a structural engineer.

“Once we have the full information, the Council can make an informed decision about the building’s future, but in the meantime we must ensure the safety of our staff, visitors, tenants and the building users,” he says.

Mr Stevenson says the Council recognises the historical significance of the Hunter Shaw building and has asked the engineer to look at all options for the buildings future.

The Hunter Shaw building is listed as a heritage building in the Council’s District Plan and is listed as a category 2 heritage item by Heritage New Zealand (previously known as the New Zealand Historic Places Trust).

Council hopes to have the engineers report with future options for the building completed in the next couple of months.

ENDS

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