Contractors are removing pieces from the deteriorating verandahs of one of Whanganui's most picturesque central city buildings.

On June 19 Whanganui District Council posted notices on the Hallensteins Building at the corner of Victoria Ave and Ridgway St, saying it is a dangerous building and asking for improvement by July 20.

The building's verandahs are coming apart and the building was deemed "likely to cause injury or death by collapse or otherwise to persons in it or on another property", the notice says.

Yesterday DML staff were removing soffits and loose timber, with barriers to stop people walking under the verandahs. A staff member would not say who was paying for the work.


The 1912 Hallensteins Building is ranked Category 2 by Heritage New Zealand and is in Whanganui's Old Town Conservation Zone. It has previously housed Awa FM, a dentist, architects and a clothing store.

It has no tenants now. When Andersons for Men owner Darrell Smith moved out in April 2018 he said the building had been unmaintained for eight years.

It had leaks, mould, mildew and needed earthquake strengthening, he said. Its rear wall, facing Ridgway St, holds a mural of Whanganui artist Edith Collier, created during the Whanganui Walls street art event.

The Chronicle has previously recorded the building's owner as William Cheng, who lives in Singapore.

The notices on the Whanganui building record the owners as Winston George Maurice Raymond Franklin and Nyioh Chew Hong. The Companies Register lists Franklin, Hong and Cheng as co-directors of a number of companies.

The Chronicle has recorded that Whanganui District Council has been in correspondence with William Cheng since September 2017. The council has regularly inspected the building's deteriorating verandahs, and in April 2018 interim repairs were done on them.

Council comment has been sought.