Earthquake: Wellington carpark and movie theatre to be 'urgently' demolished

(Queensgate carpark/ Newshub)
(Queensgate carpark/ Newshub)

Hutt City Council has instructed Queensgate mall to carry out the demolition of its cinema complex and 300 carparks "with urgency".

Engineers say the carpark and Event Cinemas building in Lower Hutt pose a safety risk if there was another earthquake, requiring them to be pulled down.

The affected areas are adjacent to the Queensgate Shopping Centre, which was closed after last Monday's quake.

After last week's initial assessment the complex was closed as a safety precaution. On Thursday evening, surrounding buildings were evacuated in case another shake occurs.

Part of Queensgate Shopping Centre has been deemed safe by engineers, and 80 stores reopened on Friday morning. About 100 stores remain closed.

Hutt City Council’s chief executive Tony Stallinger says the likelihood of significant damage in the event of another earthquake is high and public safety is paramount. 

"Our number one priority is to ensure people are safe and lives are not put at risk," he said.

Earthquake: Wellington carpark and movie theatre to be 'urgently' demolished

The affected area in Lower Hutt (supplied)

In the Wellington CBD, another carpark and movie theatre remain closed, with a cordon in place around surrounding buildings.

Reading Cinemas carpark and Courtenay Central, which holds the Reading complex, were evacuated on November 17 due to fears the carpark was at "imminent risk of collapse".  

No decision has yet been made on its fate of the Reading carpark, and work is being done to stabilise the complex.

The carpark and cinema are one of several buildings being demolished around Wellington, with 61 Molesworth Street, the St John's Church hall at Karori, an apartment block at Malvina Major Retirement Village and two council-owned buildings between Cable and Wakefield streets also coming down.