Clarrie Gibbons strengthening

Earthquake strengthening of the Council-owned Clarrie Gibbons building in Post Office Square was completed in October 2014.

Clarrie Gibbons building in 1940.

Clarrie Gibbons building in 1940.


Why we did this work


The century-old building is a heritage-listed building in the District Plan. It was designed by the City Engineer as one of many public utility buildings in Wellington to serve as a tram shelter and women’s restroom. 

  • 1912: The building was completed.
  • 1945: The building was converted into a newsagents and tobacconists.
  • 1965: The premises were leased to Clarrie Gibbons, a Wellington representative rugby player, coach and sports administrator and operated as Clarrie Gibbons Ltd., Newsagents.
  • 1999: The building was altered to increase the size of the retail space. The original entrance door via the waiting room was removed and replaced by a new door and canopy and the women’s restrooms were removed. The building was redecorated in heritage paint colours.
  • 2003: Clarrie’s son Murray sold the newsagent business to Bob and Kamla Ranchhod who have operated out of the building since then as Clarries Newsagent Store – a dairy doubling as a museum and information centre.

Earthquake-prone building

The building was deemed to be an earthquake prone building because it achieved less than 33% of the current new build standard (NBS). The building is now up to around 67% of the NBS.

This was part of our work plan to assess all Council-owned buildings and prioritise strengthening work based on the risk to public safety.

Work done

While on the premises for earthquake strengthening work, we also did remedial and maintenance work on the building. 

Strengthening work

Strengthening work included:

  • new wall bracing
  • new ceiling diaphragm
  • installing steel cross braces in the roof space.

Remedial work

Remedial work concentrated on the roof:

  • The roof structure was repaired.
  • Where tiles were in disrepair, missing or patched they were replaced with reclaimed tiles in the same style.

Maintenance work

Maintenance work involved:

  • re-painting the interior walls and ceilings
  • floor sanding and coating with protective polyurethane.

Construction and maintenance work was done by Tracer Construction Limited.