3 March 2017
Defence House (Freyberg House) in Aitken Street, Thorndon, sustained damage in the earthquake of 14 November, 2016.
At the time Defence House was occupied by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD).
From 16 November, 2016 critical headquarters staff for both the NZDF and MoD have operated out of Freyberg Building, which is immediately behind Defence House.
By the end of April about 900 staff from the NZDF and MoD will be based in Freyberg Building.
Since the earthquake the owner of Defence House, AMP Capital, has been involved in investigations to determine the extent of the damage to the building and to understand what will be required to rectify the damage.
This week, AMP Capital advised the NZDF that it was going to demolish Defence House. AMP Capital advises that the building can be repaired but that the cost of repairs is not economically viable. As Defence House does not present any immediate health and safety risk, the demolition will be completed by “deconstruction” – meaning that the building will be taken apart in a controlled manner. Long-term accommodation options for the NZDF and MoD in Wellington are under consideration, as we work out of our interim accommodation.
The loss of Defence House will be sad for the NZDF. However, our people are what makes a headquarters – and we continue to work together to deliver for the NZDF and for New Zealand.
Any further queries on the future of Defence House should be addressed to AMP Capital.