Kiri is a digital journalist for bayofplentytimes.co.nz.

Simon Bridges on earthquake damage in Wellington - 'There's significant cracking'

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National MP Simon Bridges, in his Beehive office. Photo/file
National MP Simon Bridges, in his Beehive office. Photo/file

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges is one of the few people working in Wellington's central business district following a large 7.5 earthquake which shook New Zealand overnight.

Mr Bridges, who is also Minister of Transport and Minister of Energy Resources, flew down to Wellington as planned first thing this morning and spoke to the Bay of Plenty Times from his office at Parliament.

Mr Bridges said the streets were eerily quiet and there were hardly any cars on the way to work.

''Now I'm in the Beehive and we're all walking the stairs because the lifts aren't working. There's some significant cracking," he said.

Mr Bridges said his office, which had a lot of model planes in it, was a mess.

"A lot of the model planes are broken. There is a lot of stuff on the floor and the shelving with all the books are all askew. There's some reasonably big cracks toward the edges of the building but if we are going to be anywhere in Wellington, this is a very safe building to be in."

Mr Bridges said he was preparing to meet with the NZ Transport Agency and KiwiRail to discuss the next steps in managing the transport infrastructure following the earthquake.

''We need to assess the damage so we can create plans to deal with that but the difficulty is the aftershocks. We have to be very safe and ensure people out there trying to help are safe also."

Mr Bridges said the phone network appeared to be congested because he had difficulty getting through to people but he urged people to stay safe and look after each other.

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