Courtenay Central evacuated

The cordon outside Courtenay Central (Jacob Brown/Newshub.)
The cordon outside Courtenay Central (Jacob Brown/Newshub.)

The Reading Cinema carpark in Courtenay Central is "at imminent risk of collapse" the Fire Service says. 

Regional fire commander Brendan Nally says his staff had been directed by the council to evacuate the area.

"Due to the high number of people and the risk to life here, New Zealand Fire Service and our urban search and rescue teams have been tasked to clear the building as quickly as possible," he said. 

"There is no damage to any other building, the engineers have advised there is a risk of collapse and that is quite a significant risk,"

Courtenay Central and surrounding buildings are currently being evacuated.

"The carpark in question is mostly vacant but the buildings around it definitely have people in them so that's why you see the weight of our resources that we've applied to this task," said Mr Nally.

Structural engineers and the Fire Service are surveying the building, which houses a Readings Cinema complex, a food court and a multi-storey carpark.

The carpark backs on to Tory Street which has also been closed to cars and pedestrians between Wakefield and Courtenay Place.

Courtenay Central evacuated

The Fire Service outside Courtenay Central (Jacob Brown/Newshub.)

The Courtenay Apartment building has also been evacuated. Residents have been told they will not be allowed inside for 48 hours.

Former Greens Chief of Staff Andrew Campbell has been caught up in the evacuation.

Meanwhile a number of properties on The Terrace have been roped off due to safety concerns.

A small section of The Terrace, numbers 41-55, is out of bounds as structural engineers and contractors work to make it safe.

High winds and heavy rain in the capital have increased the risk that tiles or panes of glass could fall onto the footpath.

Courtenay Central evacuated

The cordon on The Terrace (Jacob Brown/Newshub.)

The Archives New Zealand building is also closed after a new report from structural engineers

The building, at 10 Mulgrave Street, had been opened to staff members on Wednesday and Thursday morning but was evacuated on Thursday afternoon.

The Molesworth Street cordon is still in place as the former Deloitte building is also at imminent risk of collapse however some nearby residents have been allowed to return home.