Wellington's quake-hit Queensgate mall set to re-open


Lower Hutt's Queensgate shopping centre will fully reopen on April 6, as demolition has been completed on part of its carpark and cinema complex which were damaged in the Kaikoura quake.

Queensgate was closed for inspection for 11 days after the magnitude 7.8 quake in November.

Hutt City Council instructed the mall to carry out the demolition of its cinema complex and 300 carparks "with urgency", after it was deemed structurally unsafe.

Some retailers in the vicinity of the demolition site had to stay closed until the process was completed.

"The demolition is now complete and the work that is going on now is to make the Centre watertight and to ensure that the entries and exits comply with the relevant regulations ahead of the reopening," a spokesperson for Queensgate's management company said.

Stride Investment Management Limited, which manages Queensgate, plans to re-build the cinema complex but no timeline has been announced yet.

Changes have been made to the centre's egress points, and a ground level carpark is in place of the demolished carpark as a "medium term solution".

Meanwhile, in the central city, demolition at the Reading Cinema complex carpark on Courtenay Place is drawing to a close.

A Wellington City Council spokesperson says the cordon around the complex will be gone by the end of next week, and all of the surrounding properties are now reoccupied.

Reading carpark was deemed "at imminent risk of collapse" in November, and the food court, retailers, and cinema within the complex were closed.

Reading Cinema Complex will re-open on March 23, but no plans have been set to rebuild the carpark at this stage.