Clarrie Gibbons Strengthening

The Council-owned Clarrie Gibbons building in Post Office Square will be closed for earthquake-strengthening, maintenance and remedial work from June-October 2014.

Clarrie Gibbons building in 1940.

Clarrie Gibbons building in 1940.


Why we are doing 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 achieves less than 33% of the current new build standard (NBS). The work being done will bring the building up to around 67% of the NBS.

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

Work plan

While we’re on the premises for earthquake strengthening work, we will also be doing remedial and maintenance work on the building. 

Strengthening work

Strengthening work includes:

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

Remedial work

Remedial work will concentrate on the roof:

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

The roof works will require scaffolding to surround the building for up to 2 weeks

Maintenance work

Maintenance work will involve:

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

Tracer Construction Limited will be doing the construction and maintenance work on this project.

Keeping the store open

We have arranged for Clarries Newsagent Store to operate out of a portable building next to the Clarrie Gibbons building while the work is being done.

Time frame and project budget

Strengthening work will take approximately eight weeks. Maintenance and remedial works will take another eight weeks.

The Council has budgeted $71,000 for costs relating to the Clarrie Gibbons earthquake strengthening project.

More information

Carrie Guthrie, Project Manager

 Phone:  (04) 499 4444