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Further Moisture Issues Identified At Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre

Latest air quality test results for Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre suggest that the building may have deteriorated since remedial works were carried out earlier this year and the Council has engaged an engineer to carry out a further assessment of the building.

Air quality test results taken on 3 December and received 18 December 2020 show that there is an excessive level of Penicillium/ Aspergillus spore levels in the Totara Room, which is the home of the Kapiti Foodbank.

Penicillium/ Aspergillus spores can be allergenic to sensitive people, and some of the species may cause infections in immunocompromised individuals. Stachybotrys spores were detected in a very low level (unlikely to result in health issues) in the Totara Room.

Kāpiti Coast District Council Acting Group Manager Place and Space, Darryn Grant, says the elevated spore levels observed in Totara Room are indicative of active fungal growth and it is recommended that the Totara Room is not used until remedial works are identified and completed.

“This means the Kapiti Foodbank is unable to occupy the space until further notice.

“We acknowledge that this is not an ideal situation at what is a very busy time of the year for the Kapiti Foodbank. We have been in discussion with the Foodbank and it has been agreed that, with our support, they will operate from rooms on the other side of the Te Newhanga Kāpiti Community Centre this week.

“Today Council staff and volunteers are supporting the Foodbank to move their stock out of the Totara Room and will help them get set up so that they are ready to go tomorrow morning,” Mr Grant says.

The Foodbank will be open as usual between 10am and 12noon on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week. The Foodbank will be closed as from 24 December and will re-open on 11 January. Plans for where the Foodbank will operate from the period from 11 January are being worked through.

Mr Grant says the Council is very aware of the need to minimise disruption to the Foodbank and their clients and Community Centre users.

“In line with our Building Management Control Plan, we have engaged an engineer to carry out a further structural assessment of the Community Centre this week. This will not interfere with the Foodbanks operations.

“Until the results of this assessment are known we are unable to confirm what the impact will be for the Community Centres operations and services in the new year.”

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