Statistics NZ has agreed to lease its second temporary premises in Wellington, following the closure of Statistics House because of structural damage from the 14 November earthquake.
The new building is Westpac House, 318 Lambton Quay.
Statistics NZ will occupy three floors in Westpac House, which was built in the mid-1970s. Westpac House is 100 percent of building code.
On Monday 21 November, about 80 Statistics NZ staff moved into temporary offices in HP House on Gilmer Terrace, which is also 100 percent of code. More staff will move into other floors in HP House over coming weeks.
Statistics NZ has now secured space for all its Wellington staff in the two buildings. As space is progressively fitted out in the two buildings, most staff will move in by Christmas.
“The two buildings are as close together as we could have hoped for, taking about 30 seconds to travel between them,” Government Statistician Liz MacPherson said.
Westpac House is directly behind HP House.
“Between Westpac House and the five floors we will be occupying in HP House on Gilmer Terrace, there will be enough space for both Statistics NZ and the Ministry of Transport, which had been occupying a floor in Statistics House,” Ms MacPherson said.
Terms of the rental agreements are commercially sensitive, but Statistics NZ has leased the office spaces to ensure business continuity for an extended period. Nothing should be inferred from that about the future of Statistics House.
There have been some media reports that Statistics House is to be demolished. These reports are false. With a government inquiry announced and engineering reports underway, the reality is that we have no idea what the future holds for Statistics House.
We expect the inquiry to provide answers to the questions we have asked about structural damage to Statistics House, and await the results of the with interest.
Staff have been working from home or other temporary workspaces in the past fortnight.
“Thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to make this possible so quickly, and to those government agencies, companies, and community spaces who have been so generous and continue to house our staff while we work to get our new offices up and running,” Ms MacPherson said.
Meanwhile, Statistics NZ’s website has been partially restored, following the 7.8 earthquake on 14 November 2016. Statistics NZ resumed data releases from Monday, 21 November.
See the Statistics NZ website for more information on releases.
We will provide further updates about the release calendar and our return to offices, as information comes to hand.
For media enquiries contact: James Weir, 021 2859 191, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Authorised by Liz MacPherson, Government Statistician, 25 November 2016