Delay to large demolition show expected in Wellington central

A large demolition show expected to take place in Wellington central this morning, has been delayed.

Contractors were expected to take down the majority of a quake-damaged office block in the city today, but a council spokesman said this was being pushed back to tomorrow morning.

Council spokesman Clayton Anderson said that work on the front part of the tower block at 61 Molesworth St still needed to be completed.

"At the moment they are taking that front part apart, smashing it up and then after that they have got to clear that out and make space for and put the crane there."

He said this work was expected to be finished later today, before crane takes out the big part of the main building at 7:30 tomorrow morning.

However, he said there was no guarantees this would go ahead on Sunday either.

"It's still weather dependant...and it is meant to be windy tomorrow, so we might have to delay it until Monday when the wind dies down."

Demolition of the Molesworth Street building began on Thursday afternoon, with an attached smaller multi-storey building being pulled off first.

A digger with a hydraulic hammer attached to it could be seen drilling through the building, as the area was doused with water to control any asbestos particles in the area.

Today it's expected the jaw-like machine will be used to crunch down the main, nine-storey, building from the top.

Meanwhile, some 70 shops at the Queensgate Mall in Lower Hutt remain closed in the lead-up to Christmas.

The mall's owners have been ordered to urgently demolish an entire building in the complex including the Event Cinema and 300 car parks beneath it.

Stride Investment Management chief executive Peter Alexander said the nearby shops and dining area would remain unscathed.

The section being demolished is located at the northeast corner of the centre.

A contractor has been appointed to carry out the work and is already on site.

Alexander said they had been given until Monday to put together "a methodology and programme" on how they would go about the demolition, but he was unsure how long the process would take.

There was "absolutely" an intention to rebuild, but it was to early to say when that would happen.

Alexander wanted to remind shoppers about half of the shopping centre was now open, with about 80 shops opening their doors, including Farmers.

"The shopping centre actually comprises 13 separate buildings. This is one of those 13," he said.

The demolition would not affect the other half of the mall being open.

- NZ Herald

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