CentrePort, one of Wellington's most heavily damaged areas in the 7.8-magnitude Kaikoura quake, is partly reopened and ready for business this morning.

The waterfront company, which owns the BNZ and Statistics NZ building, had suspended all operations following the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks.

"Tomorrow, we expect to refuel and resupply HMNZS Endeavour and an international naval ship involved in the relief effort for quake-affected Kaikoura," Chief executive Derek Nind said yesterday.

Shed 39 and Statistics House remain closed as the full extent of damage and necessary repairs is assessed.


Engineers gained access to Statistics House yesterday to begin preliminary assessment.

The boss of Statistics NZ had been left questioning how such a new building could be so badly affected by Monday morning's quakes.

Chief executive Liz MacPherson said it appeared Statistics House had suffered structural damage to one corner of the building down the stadium end, partially affecting the corner of two floors.

"Based on the damage I have seen, the chances of us being back in the building in the near future are pretty remote."

She said the best assessment from the structural engineers was from several months to up to a year.

The building was purpose built for Statistics New Zealand in 2005 and the government department recently signed a 16-year lease on the building which is owned by CentrePort - a company owned by the Greater Wellington Regional Council and the Manawatu-Wanganui Regional Council.

It must now find temporary accommodation for its 500 staff.

In an earlier statement CentrePort chief executive Derek Nind said the company had been working on upgrades to the building based on advice from earthquake engineers before the quakes hit.

"We had just completed upgrades of the upper floors, which performed well.

"A small part of the ceiling on the ground floor and the first floor have partially dislodged after two concrete beams became separated from the exterior wall of the building."