Statistics New Zealand has hit out at claims its quake-damaged headquarters could be demolished.

A post on the government agency's Facebook pages said media reports were "completely false".

"With a government inquiry announced and engineer reports underway the reality is that we have no idea what the future holds for Statistics House," the statement says.

There has been some media reports that Statistics House is to be demolished. These reports are completely false. With a...

Posted by Stats NZ on Friday, 18 November 2016

Cinema car park likely to be bowled

The car park at Wellington's Reading Cinema will likely be demolished due to quake damage, the company says.


Reading International this morning issued a statement on the fate of the Tory St parking building, which was closed following Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake.

"While safety inspections of the parking garage are still ongoing and the results are not yet final, the company believes that demolition of the parking garage is likely," the company said.

Damage to the adjacent Courtenay Central complex, including Reading Cinema, appeared to not be structural.

The centre should re-open in the "very near future", the company said.

"Reading's top priority is ensuring the safety of all guests and tenants at our properties."

Police and Fire Service staff securing the area around the Reading Cinema car park building in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Police and Fire Service staff securing the area around the Reading Cinema car park building in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

The company said it expected the cost of a possible demolition would be covered by insurance.

One footpath on the section of Tory St, that was closed off due to the risk of the car park collapsing, has been reopened.

Foot traffic is now able to access the side of the street opposite the Reading car park.

A cordon remains in place blocking off the western side of the street.

Mall remains closed

One of the car park buildings at Lower Hutt's Queensgate shopping centre has been found to have suffered structural damage in Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake.

Beca engineers sent in to check the shopping centre found no evidence of structural damage in the retail areas of the building and retailers have been allowed back in to begin cleaning their premises.

It's anticipated that many shops will be open for business by the end of next week.

However, based on the observed damage to one of the car park buildings, structural engineers have reviewed their assessment of the affected structure.

Read the full story here.

Donations soar to $850k

The New Zealand Red Cross has helped hundreds of quake-hit Kiwis with emergency aid and support, as donations to the charity soar to $850,000.

Fifty Red Cross personnel are still operating in the areas worst affected by Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake, running community centres, going door to door, and distributing water and other essential supplies.

The organisation's disaster welfare support team volunteers have conducted welfare checks at approximately 300 houses in Kaikoura and distributed 500 food parcels.

In Marlborough, volunteers have visited 174 houses, and are setting up three drop-in centres in Blenheim, Ward and Seddon.

Read the full story here.

Paua thieves targeted

People are stealing paua brought to the surface during Monday's 7.8 magnitude quake, forcing an increase in surveillance around Kaikoura's coastline.

The Ministry for Primary Industries made the move following reports that people were continuing to take paua exposed as a result of the quake.

MPI's manager of compliance operations, Gary Orr, said it was critical surviving shellfish and rock lobster stocks in the new intertidal zone are protected.

"That's where the paua brood stocks live and we need to do everything we can to look after them as they are the key to the future of this fishery," Orr said.

Read the full story here.

Aftershocks continue, road remains closed

Strong aftershocks continued to rattle the South Island last night, with a 4.8 magnitude rumble hitting east of Hanmer Springs shortly before 5am.

Nearly 20 people reported feeling the quake with Geonet, who classified the aftershock as strong.

Meanwhile, Kaikoura is unable to be reached by road, Civil Defence has reminded the public, and it is not clear yet when roads will reopen.

All roads in and out of Kaikoura will stay closed for the forseeable future, Civil Defence has said. Photo/ Mike Scott
All roads in and out of Kaikoura will stay closed for the forseeable future, Civil Defence has said. Photo/ Mike Scott

Baden Ewart of the Canterbury Regional Civil Defence team has reiterated the message to the public that they cannot drive into Kaikoura from any direction.

"We are hearing reports from our people out in the field and through social media that people think they can drive to Kaikoura - or will be able to in a day or so.

"This is simply not the case."

All roads in and out of Kaikoura were closed due to landslides, damaged bridges and infrastructure, road subsidence and the risk of continued falling debris, Ewart said.

"We do not yet know how long State Highway 1 will remain closed to the public.

"There is a huge amount of debris to be dealt with and a substantial amount of infrastructure damage."

Weather and continuing aftershocks made conditions in the area dangerous and unstable.

The inland Kaikoura emergency access road remains closed with unstable landslides threatening stretches of the road.

"We will keep the public informed about road access but do want to reinforce the message that all road access into Kaikoura remains closed and we need to be patient while we deal with the aftermath of this earthquake," Ewart said.