Final demolition work is set to begin today on an earthquake damaged Wellington office block.

The building at 61 Molesworth St, near the city CBD, had been expected to be demolished yesterday.

But Wellington Council spokesman Clayton Anderson said that timeline had been delayed while work on the front part of the tower block was 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.


Weather dependent, a crane would take be used to start the demolition on the main part of the office block from 7.30am today.

"It's still weather dependent ... 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.

In Lower Hutt, 70 shops at Queensgate Mall remained closed.

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.

A demolition plan on the affected part of the mall is set to be completed tomorrow.

Meanwhile, a check on the state of Kaikoura's crayfish stocks is set to begin today as researchers try to figure out what effect last week's magnitude 7.8 quake had on the local industry.

Commercial vessels will begin dropping their lobster pots back into the water to help out the Ministry of Primary Industries, NIWA, the CRA 5 Industry Association and local iwi with their research into the health of stocks following the quake.

MPI director of fisheries management Dave Turner said the crayfish industry was worth $24 million in exports to the North Canterbury to Marlborough regions.