Central Wellington resident Rob Zorn had already resigned himself to the fact he wouldn't be getting his car back by the time he received news the carpark building he'd left it in would be demolished.

Zorn is one of the displaced residents from apartments in the Courtenay Central complex that have been evacuated over fears the adjacent Reading Cinema carpark building could collapse in another strong earthquake.

The building suffered significant structural damage in the November 14 quake, and the decision was made this week to demolish the building.

"Altogether the news is just getting worse and worse and worse as every day goes by," Zorn said.


He was given just a couple of minutes to gather belongings and evacuate his apartment when the carpark building was found to be unsafe. His car is one of 9 or 10 vehicles left in the building.

Wellington City Council media manager Richard MacLean said at this point the cars could not be saved.

Zorn said the news has a silver lining.

"In a sense it's a bit of a green light, there's an upside. Now I know that I can go buy another car."

He is not sure yet whether his insurance company will pay out until his other car is confirmed destroyed in the demolition, but even if he were to get it back unscathed, he didn't expect to get it back until about March.

MacLean could not say yet how long the demolition process was expected to take, but it was likely to be weeks, if not a couple of months.

There was a possibility demolition could begin before Christmas, but it was more likely to start early in the new year.

He didn't expect the cordons around Tory St would need to be extended for the demolition.