The last of the Wellington residents evacuated from their central city apartments in November will be allowed back in this morning, four months on from the earthquake that drove them out.

While residents were allowed back in for about 20 minutes to gather belongings late last year, they have been unable to return permanently to their homes on Tory St due to a severely damaged building nearby.

The Reading Cinema car park building on Tory St was found to be significantly structurally damaged after the magnitude 7.8 earthquake in November, so surrounding buildings were evacuated and have remained empty for most of the past several months.

Most residents have been able to return during the past few days and weeks, but today the final group of displaced people will be able to come home.


The Maison Cabriole apartment block is the building that was right beside the damaged car park block, and is the final one to be reoccupied.

Evacuated resident Rob Zorn said he "can't wait to go home", but is unwell so will wait until later in the week to head back to his apartment.

"I'm very, very pleased of course, who wouldn't be pleased? To be able to go home after four months."

Demolition of the damaged car park is nearly complete, and cordons have been gradually reduced in the past weeks as the building's fall zone shrank.

There is still some cleanup work to be done.