After 115 days, around 180 vehicles remain trapped beneath the fire-damaged NZ International Convention Centre in Auckland, according to the head of the business which owns the property.
The vehicle graveyard is yet to be disturbed after the disastrous inner-city fire left the many vehicles trapped in their damp and dark dungeon, although the water has been drained.
"They're write-offs, mouldy," said Graeme Stephens, SkyCity Entertainment Group chief executive today of the programme of works yet to begin to recover the vehicles.
He was discussing the company's December 31 half-year result, and explaining how his company soon expected a detailed programme of works from head contractor Fletcher Construction.
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"They're still down there but they're getting closer to getting removed," Stephens said, referring to the closed B4 basement level beneath the $703m centre, shut since the fire broke out on October 22.
Millions of litres of water flooded the basement, submerging the vehicles up to their windows last year as firefighters fought the blaze above.
Stephens said safety was a priority in removing the vehicles which might emerge from their watery graves in the next few weeks.
Asked about the condition of the vehicles, he said: "It's academic." Owners had been paid out.
Ward Demolition is expected to begin the huge job on the site between Nelson St, Hobson St, Wellesley St and Victoria St.
SkyCity also revealed today $225.8m contract works insurance recovery as an estimated amount, $10.3m liquidated damages from having to shut the Nelson St tunnel access and $4.5m in other insurance recoveries.
The NZICC fire had a positive $240.6m impact on the accounts. A note to that figure in the accounts said "estimates of the NZICC fire impacts are based on initial assessments and may change materially as further information becomes available."