Emergency services are responding to reports of another building with structural issues in central Wellington.

A police spokesman said police and fire services are at an open carpark on Tory Street, between Wakefield St and Courtenay Place, in the Wellington CBD at a building that "involves an issue of structural stability".

A staff member at Mama Brown's restaurant on Wakefield St said part of the road had been closed, and seven fire trucks were outside the car park building near Reading Cinemas.​

Wellington Mayor Justin Lester told media the Reading carpark has been added to the list of buildings with serious structural damage.


Manu Muzzi was on her way home from work this afternoon when she discovered the cordon at Courtenay Place and Tory St intersection.

Muzzi lives on Tory St in the apartment next to the affected building.

She hadn't known the building was at risk and felt "scared and lucky".

The cordon on Tory St. Photo / Melissa Nightingale
The cordon on Tory St. Photo / Melissa Nightingale

When she arrived at the cordon her boyfriend was still inside. She tried to call him "a hundred times" not realising he was in the shower.

"I was so worried," she said.

While it was frightening to know she had been staying next to a dangerous building, Muzzi said she felt "lucky at the same time" that nothing had happened.

She said she knew assessment teams were "trying their best".

Residents were ducking through the cordon with bags of hastily packed belongings as the fire service evacuated them from the area.


Police had to call out to residents who stopped to take photos inside the cordon while being evacuated.

Reading carpark is the latest in a number of buildings in the captial to cause concern, although many have now been cleared for residents to return.

'Really, really inconvenient'

The cordon on Tory St at Reading carpark in central Wellington. Photo / Melissa Nightingale
The cordon on Tory St at Reading carpark in central Wellington. Photo / Melissa Nightingale

Rob Zorn lives beside the affected building on Tory St, and has had just a couple of minutes to gather up some belongings in a suitcase and evacuate his apartment.

He was feeling "really frustrated".

"Look, it's nobody's fault but it's really, really inconvenient," he said.

"I'm self employed, I'm away from all of my work stuff, so no one's paying my wages while this happens."

But he saw the need for the evacuation.

"I'd rather be inconvenienced than dead."

Zorn said he was "worried" and didn't know how long he'd be out of his home.

The first earthquake was the "most terrifying experience" of his life and it was "troubling to discover" he'd been living beside a seriously affected building.

He had hurriedly packed a change or two of clothes while a firefighter stood by and tried to speed him up, and was "absolutely sure" he'd forgotten something he needed.

With suitcase in hand, Zorn was heading off down Courtenay Place.

"I've still got a bed at my ex partner's place, she can find me when she comes home from work."

Structural engineers step in

Earlier, two buildings in central Wellington were cordoned off due to concerns.

The Terrace, 41-55, was out of bounds as structural engineers and contractors work to make it safe. The cordon was about two car lengths and was set up near 55 The Terrace.

The building that houses Archives New Zealand on Mulgrave St had also been evacuated as a "precautionary measure", the Department of Internal Affairs said in a Facebook post.

Archives New Zealand's Wellington office holds 65,000 metres of public archives, including central government records, immigration records, as well as 750,000 photos and negatives.

A nearby shop owner said the cordon had been in place since this morning.

At Wellington's Deloitte House, about 1000 office workers were temporarily barred from returning until more extensive structural checks were made on the building, its owner said.

Apartment blocks on Tennyson St were evacuated yesterday.

The most badly damaged buildings ​were Reading carpark, 61 Molesworth St and Statistics NZ, Lester said.

The notice advising the Archives NZ building is closed. Photo / Supplied
The notice advising the Archives NZ building is closed. Photo / Supplied

Lester said he was pleased to see people were getting back to their day-to-day lives and all council buildings were open again. But he warned that another earthquake was likely in the next month.

"I want to stress to Wellingtonians that we need to be prepared."

Centreport chairmain Lachie Johnstone said the BNZ, Justice House and Shed 39 buildings had been given the all clear by engineers and initial assessments into the damage to the Statistics NZ building had been conducted.

Reports the building had pancaked were not correct, he said.

"There has been a situation were the floor sections of the building have separated away from the beams within the building" in isolated areas.

Engineers were making assessments into what to had wrong, but inquiries would take weeks.

Engineers had cleared the building for staff members to remove their belongings.

"The questions we need to ask are: has the building failed? Or has what nature has thrown at the building been too much for it?"