Thursday, May 23, 2024

Major move afoot for Wellington council

Wellington City Council has signed an agreement to enter into a 25-year lease to occupy 68 Jervois Quay, the former Datacom building on the corner of Jervois Quay and Harris Street.

The Council says the confirmation is another step towards the revitalisation of Te Ngākau Civic Square and its re-establishment as the heart of the city.  

The Council will consolidate accommodation currently spread across four buildings when current leases expire. The new building will house the Mayor’s Office, elected members and the staff and services presently located at Tahiwi (113 The Terrace), Kai Upoko (79 Boulcott Street), Te Pātaka (Johnsonville Road) and City Archives (Barker Street).  

“We are excited to be moving home to the Te Ngākau Civic Square precinct after a few years in temporary accommodation,” said Council Chief Executive, Barbara McKerrow.

The Council moved out of the Te Ngākau Civic Square site in 2018 following the Kaikōura earthquake and resulting damage to the Civic Administration Building (CAB) and Municipal Office Building (MOB). 

“This announcement adds to major work underway to strengthen and re-open Te Matapihi Central Library and the Town Hall, the redevelopment of the CAB and MOB sites, and work to develop a master plan for the precinct itself which will be completed later this year,” says Mayor, Tory Whanau.

In consolidating the leases and moving into an existing building, the new headquarters will be a cost-effective long-term solution for the Council’s accommodation and for ratepayers, Council said in a statement. 

Officers have been exploring options for future accommodation following a Council decision in May 2023 to find long-term accommodation in, or close to, Te Ngākau Civic Square. 

“We have worked closely with Cornerstone Group to achieve a great deal for the Council and the city,” says Ms McKerrow. 

“There are many benefits from the Council being based at this site, including reactivating this part of the city, bringing staff back together to work in a single site, and reducing our overall operating expenses.” 

Group Chief Executive Officer, Cornerstone Group John Yiappos says: “We’re delighted to have a blue ribbon tenant like Wellington City Council occupying this iconic building on Wellington’s waterfront.  

“While there are aspects of the lease agreement that are commercially sensitive, I can say that the length of the tenancy was a factor in coming to favourable terms in the agreement,” he adds.

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