Council building, museum closed immediately

Te Awamutu Museum

Waipā District Council has evacuated the Te Awamutu Museum and an adjacent staff building following a seismic assessment, it said in a media release today.

Garry Dyet

Chief executive Garry Dyet made the evacuation call today, following a report which shows the building is at 20 per cent of National Building Standard, with a Grade D building rating. In the event of an earthquake, Grade D buildings represent a risk to occupants between 10 -25 times that expected for a new building.

Dyet said the seismic risk issues were discovered when council was looking at doing some work to replace the roof and windows.

“The issue was identified then and on the basis of health and safety, I made the call to evacuate the building; I was simply not prepared to put any staff member or any member of the public at risk.”

Around 78 staff across the council’s service delivery and community services team work in the building, but not all at the same time.

“Our staff are used to being very agile – Covid made sure of that,” Dyet said. “We will be able to house staff elsewhere and some will work from home for a short time while we work this through. Except for museum staff, I don’t think it will cause too much disruption.”

Dyet said the museum would be closed until further notice.

“Right now, our priority is working alongside mana whenua, the Office of Kingi Tuheitia and the Te Awamutu Museum Trust Board to ensure all the taonga in the museum are taken care of. Along with staff, that is my absolute priority and we will work through this carefully and meticulously.”

“It is inconvenient and disappointing. But our focus now is working through the next steps to see what kind of remedial work is required.”

Council’s main building across the road in Roche St in Te Awamutu is not impacted and is open as usual.

More Recent News

News ….. in brief

Yellow lines Waipā road safety staff have distributed signs to various schools pointing out the issues parents parking on yellow lines cause outside the schools. They are put out in the morning and at the…

Students have a vision

Ōhaupō School’s budding science and technology minds have been acknowledged at a school ceremony. The schools celebrated recent success for students at this year’s Niwa Waikato Regional Science and Technology Fair. Thirteen pupils from the…

Council looks at Boshier report

Waipā district councillors have discussed communications with the public in response to Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier’s recent report. Boshier took issue with councillors for doing too much work behind closed doors, and echoed some concerns…

Maunga to maunga livestream

Dairy farmers, sheep and beef farmers, iwi and other community members are celebrating the second anniversary of a largescale initiative to create an ecological corridor in the Waipā district. The Taiea te Taiao project will…