Courtenay Central car park in Wellington at imminent risk of collapse - engineers

Engineers have told 1 NEWS the Courtenay Central car park in central Wellington is at "imminent risk" of collapse, after the buildings around it were evacuated.

Several businesses around the car park and the cinema complex there were cleared out as well.

The building had to be cleared quickly and now the area is cordoned off, affecting businesses and residents. Source: Seven Sharp

Cars inside the car park will stay there overnight.

The evacuation of Courtenay Central was prompted following a structural engineer assessment. Source: 1 NEWS

The evacuation was prompted following a structural engineer assessment.

This also affected surrounding buildings, including some apartments.

The Wellington Regional Emergency Management Office said it took a safety approach with the Wellington building because it didn't want to put people at risk.

Tory Street, between Wakefield Street and Courtenay Place, is cordoned off, but the rest of Courtenay and Wakefield is still open.

It is still safe to make your way along Courtenay and Wakefield, either on foot or in a vehicle. The cinemas are closed until further notice.

Reading Cinema in Courtenay Place is advising those who have bought tickets to hold onto them and present them once they're open again. Source: 1 NEWS

A cordon is also in place on The Terrace in central Wellington following concerns about loose concrete panels on a building.

The building in question is Intergen House at 55 The Terrace.

The continuing aftershocks are causing major concerns in the capital. Source: 1 NEWS

Dr Peter Johnstone from NZ Consulting Engineers says a lot of Wellington’s buildings got to 'code design level maximum'. Source: Breakfast

Wellington City Council spokeswoman Bridget Parrott confirmed that concrete panels had come loose from the front of the building.

An Intergen staff member said they had been told to work from home tomorrow as a precaution.

He said the building had been assessed by an engineer earlier in the week and cleared as safe.

Justin Lester updates the media on the quake damaged building. Source: 1 NEWS

Staff worked from the building yesterday, but following fresh concerns a second engineering inspection was ordered today.

The staff member further said the damage to the building was superficial and he expected to be back on Monday.

"We're in a pretty old building so it moves with every earthquake," they said.

"Because of the age of it, staff were a bit concerned but we were told it was safe."

Part of the central city remains cordoned off, with the list of buildings off limits increasing. Source: 1 NEWS