News | 17 August 2023
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Michael Fowler Centre and Opera House to be issued with Earthquake-Prone Building notices

Michael Fowler Centre and The Opera House will receive Earthquake-Prone Building (EPB) notices today.

Michael Fowler Centre lit up at dusk with Whairepo Lagoon in the foreground

Wellington City Council recently commissioned seismic assessments on both buildings. The findings of the assessments show that parts of both venues are below the 33 percent New Building Standard (NBS) threshold for being earthquake prone. Under the NBS, a building’s seismic performance rating is given based on its seismically weakest part.

The EPB notices give the Council, as owner of the buildings, seven and half years to plan and carry out remedial works.

Michael Fowler Centre, home to the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, has a two-level auditorium that holds up to 1,800 delegates. It hosts a range of events including graduations, conferences, seminars and performing arts.

The Opera House is a 100-year-old venue that holds almost 1,400 people. It hosts a variety of events from ballet and classical performances to theatre and comedy.

Council’s Chief Infrastructure Officer Siobhan Procter says: “The Michael Fowler Centre and The Opera House are both much-loved venues that play key roles in Wellington’s entertainment district.

“We have concluded, on reviewing the latest advice in conjunction with the MBIE Seismic Risk Guidance for Buildings, that there is nothing within either assessment that indicates both buildings cannot continue to operate as normal.”

The Council will review its options for both venues over the coming months.

The EPB notice will be displayed at every public entrance to both buildings.