British High Commission building closes until further notice due to earthquake damage

The British High Commission building at 44 Hill St in  Thorndon, Wellington, has been closed after earthquake damage was found. Photo / NZPA
The British High Commission building at 44 Hill St in Thorndon, Wellington, has been closed after earthquake damage was found. Photo / NZPA

The British High Commission building in Wellington has been closed after earthquake damage was discovered this morning.

British High Commissioner Jonathan Sinclair said the building will be temporarily closed until further notice.

"All our staff will be working around the temporary closure ... However the closure of the building will affect how we help British nationals."

The building is the latest in a string of structures in the Wellington CBD deemed unsafe following last week's magnitude 7.8 earthquake.

An office tower at 61 Molesworth St is to be demolished after it was damaged by the earthquake, and Reading car park on Tory Street and the Statistics New Zealand building have all been deemed structurally unsound.

The closure is not yet reflected on the British High Commission Wellington website, but on the UK in New Zealand Facebook page the High Commissioner says all staff "will be working around the temporary closure to provide the best possible service to British Nationals and to continue to work with the New Zealand Government, businesses and communities."

Sinclair said: "If you are a British National and need assistance, please phone 04 924 2888 to be connected to a consular duty officer.

"We understand this may cause inconvenience. We will work as hard as we can to resume normal service as soon as possible."

The update on the status of the High Commission is also on Twitter.


- NZ Herald

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