Demolition call confirmed

The building that is about to be demolished. File Photo.

A last minute call to save the old city council building has been denied, and Tauranga City Council will soon announce the successful tenderer for its demolition.

Tuesday's council meeting denied Ken Evans' call for a referendum on the proposal to demolish the building which has been vacant since December 2014 when mould was discovered in the building.

Ken made his feelings known about the decision to demolish in March when he offered to buy it for $10 so it could be repaired and leased out as office space.

His latest attempt drew fire and ire from councillors who unanimously voted to go ahead with the demolition, and also decided it was time the city council changed its rules so the little used referendum call cannot be similarly used in future.

Councillor Gail McIntosh who was part of the previous council's civic heart project says in the last triennium she was among those who went through the process of looking at all the buildings on the council campus and reading the huge amount of paperwork on the issue.

She has no doubt the building is unsafe, it needs to be demolished - and the sooner, the better.

The reports are all public reading. A significant number of engineers have agreed on the building's demolition and the city council cannot even put its own staff in it.

The consultation process and subsequent public hearings enabled ‘anyone and everyone' to make input into the decision.

“It is not a topic for a referendum,” says Gail. “It seems the oddest thing to have a referendum on. If you have a referendum on that you could have a referendum on anything.”

If the council had agreed to the referendum call it would have triggered a petition process, and if a valid petition was received the council must then hold the referendum. The cost would be about $151,000 as a stand-alone event, and the result would not be binding on the council.

As only 38 per cent of the electorate voted, Gail doesn't believe they would be able to get a 50 per cent participation in anything.

“And I don't believe demolishing a building is a topic for a referendum. If you have referendum on this you could have a referendum on anything.”

Tenders have been called for the building's demolition, with the council previously stating the successful tenderer is expected to be announced this week.


Exaggerations, roadkill,

Posted on 03-05-2017 09:59 | By R. Bell

"to magnify the truth" once caught out, all other statements are suspect. I repeat, One third of your new figure of $3800/m =$1260/m give or take for the Greerton library. Please give the name of any building firm I can contact, that will do the job at that price. You clearly have that contact. You have not answered my question,"where do you suggest we put the waste of N.Zs fastest growing City? A simple two line answer will do, so as to spare Sunlive the pain. Robin Bell.


Posted on 03-05-2017 09:31 | By Papamoaner

My god, the mind boggles. The untruths seem to be perpetual in your case, perhaps habitual, so you don't actually realise you are doing it. In psychology there is a name for that behavioural trait. Any observer reading these posts could see at a glance that you have provided NO ANSWERS at all to the question relating to your perceived failure of TCC to perform their core business. Twisting and turning to avoid questions does your credibility no good at all, and frustrates your debating opponents. Feet of clay! (google it if you like). It would have been good, and constructive to the debate, to see you display some courage of your convictions, but sadly it "aint gonna happen" as they say.

Monumental Exaggerations reply distorted no 7, Bell

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:56 | By Roadkill

Notice you remain silent on Baypark, Art Gallery and so on, obvious I am right on them, just need you to catch up on the reality of the rest.

Sorry to interrupt, But;- Papa

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:55 | By Roadkill

The answer was given, however you noted it as "gooble-dee-gook" and I have posted here to define what that means in your case for you so as we are then clear what you mean.

Monumental Exaggerations reply distorted no 2, Bell

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:29 | By Roadkill

The Southern Pipeline project was priced in 2008 by URS @ $118m, however the obvious is that the Te Maunga site can not handle the current flow, never mind the capacity added via the new pipe. So it is then necessary to expand he capacity there and that means the cost blows out to some $256m also as per the URS reports from 2008. It should be noted that this has a number of bad outcomes: - More debt, more rates, majority of Tauranga's treatment capacity is in one place (very much like CHCH-2011), ponds are not consented, ponds are leaking massively into the Harbour, no allowance to spend to replace/fix, Govt says should reduce outflow pipe discharge into waterways/sea, this generally increases it, treatment facilities can't cope now ... then add more ... brilliant staff (all as per the BECA review July 2008), so TCC approved it anyway.

Monumental Exaggerations reply distorted no 1, Bell

Posted on 02-05-2017 16:19 | By Roadkill

Greerton Library raw cost was around $3800/m fitout and so on you knowing a little more verify the unknown for and also verifies my valid comment here, thanks for that

Sorry to interrupt, But;-

Posted on 01-05-2017 18:24 | By Papamoaner

None of this new discussion on council project cost over-runs has anything to do with the question Roadkill was invited to answer. It is another of his red herrings to avoid the question. To Roadkill;- Read the question again, including the guide clues provided with it. Then provide some honest answers if it's not too technical for you.

Monumental Exaggerations and distortions roadkill.

Posted on 01-05-2017 15:53 | By R. Bell

The Greerton Library cost around $3,500 sqm.all up. I challenge you to build a similar build for one third,say $1,200. The Southern Pipeline as of October 2016 is estimated to cost $100 m.all up.Where do you get your "estimate" of $300m from? You claim The Elms costs $250,000 pa, actual figure $150,000. It attracts tourist and is an iconic historical building. Modern libraries are taking over from the traditional. I challenge you to visit our Greerton library on any day you choose, to witness its popularity. Where do you propose to send the waste that will be handled by the new Pipeline? All your other distortions, meet a similar fate. Robin Bell.

List of monumental council failures

Posted on 29-04-2017 15:49 | By Roadkill

Where to start: - build cost of Araki Community Center/ASB Arena/Greerton Library all cost about three-times standard build rates. Mount Cossie Club build cost ratepayers about $27m, Southern Pipeline a white elephant will cost some $250-300m, it propagates 50-60 year old processes that central Government says should-be redundant not increased. Baypark cost $12m, was to pay for itself, it's cost well in-excess of $30m since. Even little things like The Elms, was non-rate funded a couple of years ago, TCC got involved and now costs ratepayers some $250k/pa. Tauranga Art Gallery was to cost ratepayers $800k one-off-payment from rates, now it's around $900k annual cost to ratepayers. Libraries are a dying entity and the same worldwide yet they keep spending more and building more. None of any of these things about that are infrastructure and it all costs a huge amount and completely inefficient. Do you understand anything here?

How councils work

Posted on 27-04-2017 21:15 | By Papamoaner

Some evidently still think councils are run on pre-Rogernomics principles. Councils once had their own works yards, machinery and paid workers, machine operators etc. There were power boards that looked after electricity, and drainage boards. Rogernomics extinguished all that, improving the economy at a cost of ruining some lives and jobs. For many poor buggers, the scars still remain. New Regional councils were created to handle the big stuff, leaving city councils to focus on their city by contracting work out. Painful as it was, it seems to be working, with contractors doing pretty much everything, and councils having a much smaller engineering staff overseeing the work and effectively acting as "clerks of work" (You're allowed to google that one if you like Roadkill, since you're on a learning curve). Not much has changed in the BLAME department.

OK Roadkill, give us a list,

Posted on 27-04-2017 19:14 | By Papamoaner

Some call it "money where your mouth is" We realise you never give straight answers to straight questions, but we challenge you for an exception in this case, and ask if you could please provide on here, a list of recent monumental council failures to support the city on core business. To make it easier for you, here are some clues;- Does the city look shabby? Do the sewers and waterworks all function? Are the roads up to standard? Do the streetlights work? Are the stormwater drains maintained and functional? Rubbish collection functional? C'mon Roadkill, let's have it.

@Captain Rudekill

Posted on 27-04-2017 16:18 | By Papamoaner

Your delerious ramblings are incoherent, I don't give a tinker's cuss for your usual personal judgements. I reiterate that in my view, councils invariably get it right, including this one. Not always, but mostly, Annual core business is largely completed to a standard. Pedantic little nitpickers are irrelevant to the equation. If this was not true, there would be widespread public dissatisfaction and protest action, and the elected councillors would vanish by never being re-elected. That evidence is empirical. The reason that doesn't happen, and hasn't happened, is because the community at large are satisfied, and the agitators, moaners and whingers are of such a miniscule minority that hardly anybody notices them. Those that do just laugh and ignore them as insignificant. The big picture is your enemy. Have you tried specsavers?

This building is buggered ...

Posted on 27-04-2017 14:06 | By What A Useless Council

I worked in this building for 14 years and have just arrived back in Tga after 4 years away. It was leaking badly when I arrived and was leaking badly when I left. Apart from a little selant and installing plastic guttering leading to buckets in the ceiling (I kid you not) very little else was done. Unfortunately it took a serious mould problem to finally get something done. If amything this should have been done three years ago, that alone would have saved significant monies.Ken isnt on this planet. What I have learnt since I have been away is every city or town has a "ken". There are a number of reasons for the problem we have from a lack of planned mtce, poor design and also financial reasons however something needs to be done now - build something we can be proud of too.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 27-04-2017 13:51 | By Roadkill

Just astonishing to say "They invariably get it right" , bewilderingly unbelievable that you have said that. What ever credibility you "thought" you had (the master of all in your own mind and in your own lifetime) has now been undone, a lifetime of story telling, fables, myths and intrigue dreamed of as true somehow, now falls on own sword. So sad shame NOT!

@R Bell

Posted on 27-04-2017 09:14 | By Papamoaner

That's a novel idea. Yes, dead in the water you might say. Debate was due to peter out anyway, so no loss. Most good points already made, and the best decision has already been taken, to demolish, so it all got a bit academic anyway, and was becoming "sport". Good on the council. They invariably get it right, and this was a classic example. There will always be a minority with a grudge of some sort, always on the lookout for opportunity to criticise local government.

What I'd really like, papamoaner

Posted on 27-04-2017 08:25 | By R. Bell

is for council to call Ken Evans's bluff. Sell him the building for $10 and make him personally responsible for it's removal, say within six months. That would put an end to his nonsense. Not gonna happen of course,he'd run a mile. Thanks for the kind words, no answers means no more "debate". Robin Bell.


Posted on 25-04-2017 10:26 | By Papamoaner

I didn't explain that well. What I meant, and should have said, is that the isolator enables the building to suffer less movement while the ground wobbles beneath it, isolated from each other by the flexible rubber base isolator.

@Robin Bell

Posted on 24-04-2017 18:39 | By Papamoaner

Good work Robin. You've got him cornered, but don't hold your breath for answers to any of your questions. This guy has prior history for not answering logical questions, Thanks to smart NZ scientists like Bill Robinson, structures we erect from now on will withstand pretty much anything the planet can throw at us, so demolishing crappy buildings like this monumental example, makes very good sense, and Tauranga will be the better for it. As a matter of interest, Bill's isolators are a huge cube of rubber with a big core of lead (Pb) at the centre. The isolator allows the building to "wobble" and the energy is absorbed by melting the lead (huge energy required). "Brilliant"

The words just drip from your lips

Posted on 24-04-2017 13:02 | By R. Bell

roadkill. Tell us "all" where the consultants say " fixed without significant cost" a simple reference point will do. Where do you get the $10 million from. Where do you get all the other numbers from? Make it up as you go, no doubt. How can you possibly equate a civic building, to that of a marketable, privately owned building? How can you possibly ignore the photographic evidence of ROT ? So many questions, with no possibility of an answer. We all know why. Robin Bell.

Inbred scepticism

Posted on 24-04-2017 09:55 | By Papamoaner

Some people are cynically mistrustful of gov't entities, especially councils, for no tangible reason. Possibly because their parents were. It's inbred and will never change for them (EG; my dad voted labour all his life, so I will too). Others will just make up figures with no solid basis and never any proof of their validity. The council will just ignore them and knock the ugly structure down and rebuild. From here on, structures will be better because engineering seismologists will now be involved. The late Dr Bill Robinson has his seismic isolation bases holding buildings up all around the world now, so don't worry folks - it will happen in Tauranga too. Bring it on!

Your claim is spurious

Posted on 24-04-2017 09:48 | By R. Bell

The expert consultants all agree the current state of the building warrants a total stripping of the interior, a total re-roofing, total replacement of all sealants. The foundations are shallow pad footings 1 to 1.5 mtrs deep. liquifaction is present at 2.5 mtrs. That requires foundations to be upgraded at god knows what cost. All of the consultants agree the expenditure to effect all repairs plus the inevitable "unknown, hidden" costs, would potentially match the cost of a similar size new build.... duh! "touche". One very telling comment from a consultant. "There is a misguided view amongst those of insufficient practical experience of remediation issues in N. Z. that it is acceptable to leave large amounts of deep, well established DECAY in situ". Take note. Those days are gone for ever. Robin Bell.


Posted on 24-04-2017 09:28 | By Papamoaner

I see some reports are being cited on here without reference to source. You have provided the source when citing reports. That's professional ! Good on you. You are a credible debater.

Not my claim, simply reading it

Posted on 24-04-2017 00:15 | By Roadkill

The words are not mine, the experts TCC have employed record and sign it, I simple have advised you. The EQ issue you speak of applies to the site so affects the existing and any new building ... duh! The math actually on this is very simple ... do you want $10 million cost (so adding value to what is there at a nominal cost) or $200 million with very strong likelihood of $250 million cost (end result mostly a liability, perhaps worth $50-60 million - but no buyers ever possible) and of course $250 million odd of debt as well. Add to that of course that annual additional costs to ratepayers, perhaps some $34 million added to rates every year. All before interest rates rise. TCC plan to have $800 million debt already so make that a BILLION or so. Rates will rise, a lot. NOT: TUI ADVERT.

The real issue is

Posted on 23-04-2017 18:34 | By waiknot

People just don't trust the facts that come out of council.


Posted on 23-04-2017 16:02 | By Papamoaner

The problem with asbestos is that once discovered, the law clicks in, so they have little choice other than to remove it. I think any money councils spend or fail to spend, is always up for intense scrutiny, especially by ratepayers. Unlike income tax, this money is applied locally to local works, so an otherwise small picture becomes the ratepayer's big picture. I see councils a bit similar to the police - most of what they do gets criticised until they save someone, resulting in silence instead of gratitude. So the job tends to be all brickbats with few bouquets.

Coincidence...or not?

Posted on 23-04-2017 14:34 | By groutby

...that recently Taupo District Council has recently 'discovered" asbestos in their building, so yup, you guessed it, everyone building looms no doubt. There seems to be something about Councils when spending other peoples money seem totally and absolutely incompetent....this could simply not be acceptable in the private sector, and, if it did, there would be accountancy....TCC still very quiet on..."facts" I think.

Roadkill, you claim expertise,

Posted on 23-04-2017 13:48 | By R. Bell

in this matter. yet you totally ignore the FACT that cause is not at issue here, EFFECT is. No one disputes that the building can be repaired. YOUR problem is that all of the various assessments have reached the same conclusion. The building is not worth repairing, for many reasons. 1. The foundations are inadequate to withstand the effects of earthquake, you are prepared to take that risk at other peoples expense. 2. Water intrusion and its effects cannot be adequately assessed, without total removal of interior linings. you seem to dismiss the cost of that, as you do the possibility that the recommendation, may well be, pull it down.3. perhaps the most important, your too bloody late, as usual. Robin Bell.

Papamoaner Bells rings?

Posted on 23-04-2017 12:33 | By Roadkill

TCC expert consultants paid by TCC-ratepayers, huge money say:- the building's sound, EQ-compliant, fixed without significant cost. The cause is the expensive but low grade repairs/maintenance level to date including where services are added the quality of install has breached the building envelope so allowing water in. This is therefore nothing more than a small scale restoration. Cr Gail summed it up, 'TCC needs to out-source its building needs as within isn't capable of doing so". Yet they issue and inspect all buildings in the area. A little scary isn't it! That is if you can see past your intrinsic bias. The remedial for all buildings on Willow block is about $10m and then as good as new. The alternate is $180-240m and lets "try it again". The difference must be borrowed and is clearly beyond this council to afford unless a huge rate increase happens and it will.

Irrelevant posturing,

Posted on 23-04-2017 08:59 | By R. Bell

from roadkill. John Hall of R.J.H.A. in his highly professional overview of the independent reports clearly points to systemic failure of the building. Ken Evans and his a.e. roadkill fail to understand the point where dogmatic posturing ceases and prudent judgment takes over. Thankfully Council show the courage required. Robin Bell.


Posted on 23-04-2017 08:28 | By Papamoaner

That clarifies it. I have no knowledge at all of this building, but I have some knowledge of the science and engineering in general. It is interesting how many relatively modern buildings are being demolished around the country, especially presently in places like Christchurch and Wellington. The issue I have with architects is the conflict between engineering integrity of the structure versus aesthetic competition making architecture a competitive design industry. It is not unusual for buildings to be stripped bare then water blasted inside and out. In the case of this building, it seems demolition was the right decision because it sounds like moisture is entering from below, not just from above. Were the ingress exclusively from above, it could doubtless be fixed. Ingress from below is an entirely different matter where remedial work is probably too expensive and uncertain.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 22-04-2017 23:54 | By Roadkill

Sorry mate I have in error taken it that you knew something of what was going on. Water blasting was to the outside, perished window rubbers don't hold the water back that is being forced in, result water/moisture inside in a close and sealed building will only foster and cultivate mould. The motives for doing that are indeed intended to aid the desired outcome and ensure the desired result happens.

@ Roadkill

Posted on 22-04-2017 16:14 | By Papamoaner

Or did you mean it was water blasted only on the OUTSIDE? You say the window seals were shot. As usual, your post was a bit ambiguous.

Roadkill's consultant's report?

Posted on 22-04-2017 16:04 | By Papamoaner

How long did the alleged "consultants" inspection take? Did it involve multiple drilling into the foundations? Did it involve a humidity sensor profile to assess capillary migration of moisture? Did it involve removal of interior linings as pointed out by R. Bell? And I don't believe Roadkill's claim that there was "interior water blasting" Why would anyone do that? Perhaps Roadkill's version of "water blasting" was actually just chlorine spray applied to EXPOSED surfaces that exhibited some mould.

Self defeating arguments,

Posted on 22-04-2017 13:43 | By R. Bell

and contradictions from Murray Guy and roadkill. Murray claims Council refused repairs, roadkill claims the repairs were done badly. These arguments are irrelevant. The foundations do not comply with current E. Q. requirements. The building has leaked for years, and tests show water intrusion to inner (hidden) structures. Only a complete gutting of inner wall structures can reveal total damage done. Common sense should tell us, that option is Uneconomic on a building closely resembling something from Eastern Europe, post the collapse of Communism. Robin Bell.

@ Papamoaner

Posted on 22-04-2017 11:52 | By Roadkill

The consultants report on the building says that the building structure is solid and sound, that it is even EQ compliant. The issue here is that TCC repairs and installs in the building have been done very badly yet as usual are very expensive. Recently for example TCC water blasted it knowing full well that the window rubbers are worn out and so would add moisture inside. The windows of course were left closed afterwards. This if course keeps the mould growing. Why would you water blast a building tagged to demolish?

@ Murray Guy

Posted on 22-04-2017 11:33 | By Papamoaner

Maintenance has little to do with it Murray. Granted, certain parts of routine maintenance can have some effect on structural integrity, but if the building design is deficient, no amount of maintenance can fix that. For example, if the foundations were not properly damp-coursed during construction, the building is doomed from day one. Mould needs water vapour and still air to thrive, so properly built and with sufficient ventilation, mould should not be an issue. So take a second look at the architect and maybe an engineer or two.


Posted on 22-04-2017 11:21 | By Papamoaner

I think the people to look sideways at are the ARCHITECTS. Architects are getting away with murder all over the country as relatively modern buildings fall down or need to be demolished. They don't seem to be accountable to anyone like engineers are.

Unanimous Vote,

Posted on 22-04-2017 08:43 | By R. Bell

says it all. Ken Evans's pathetic posturing got exactly what it deserved. Clearly council saw through it, and so do any rational citizens. This modern, rapidly expanding City has no need or respect for those who would keep us in the dark ages. Well done Council. Robin Bell.

Kaimai, this outcome was manipulated.

Posted on 21-04-2017 22:22 | By Murray.Guy

Kaimai, senior staff over a number of recent years were asked to authorise critical maintenance and this was refused.


Posted on 21-04-2017 20:38 | By waiknot

The point Gail misses in her tirade, is clearly a big percentage of the residents have little faith that the true situation regards the building is being disclosed. I personally wonder if the councillors are voting with all the relevant information presented to them. After all didn't we just discover information regards a hotel proposal didn't make it to the councillors. To put it simply there is a real stench surrounding this and it's not the mould.


Posted on 21-04-2017 20:10 | By Capt_Kaveman

can fool some of the people some of the time but cant fool all the people all of the time

Kinda Funny in a way

Posted on 21-04-2017 18:55 | By Dazed and Confused

The place does look a bit like a 1980s Mental health unit eh

Just goes to show

Posted on 21-04-2017 18:50 | By old trucker

That one person got a bit sick because of mould, they all shifted out yrs ago spent $thousands on fixing problem,etc water blasting the outside for days,and now it is unsafe,i said a long time ago, that this was already signed off, has anybody in TGA been allowed to have a look, this is unfair and Gail McIntosh says it needs to come down sooner than later,it does not name TCC councilors who voted for it, once they get put into COUNCIL on us they go along with everything (BRAINWASHED) where is the so called Mayor in this,(did i read he said it was alright) the Building, he should of said NO NO, but he is told what to do by the old school in there, so much for who ever VOTED him in, he has turned on us all, they just want fancy new BAUBLES, and BRANDNEWeverything,theBDGETwillblowoutby$millions,Thanks10-4out.

38% voter turnout?

Posted on 21-04-2017 17:33 | By Roadkill

Is the expectation, perhaps it is a result of the displayed arrogance, bad attitude and level of public consultation illustrated above. That being of course that Gail and others don't like it that someone dares to ask the obvious questions here, then the answer is delete that policy so the public can not have a say. WOW, don't you just love to see democracy in action!

@ GreertonBoy

Posted on 21-04-2017 17:25 | By Roadkill

The absolute desire for self gratification and indulgence has completely overwhelmed TCC staff motivations and intentions completely. Totally irrelevant that there is nothing wrong with the building, it is all about ... I want ... I want ... I want ... I want ... I want ... I want ... someone else pays ...


Posted on 21-04-2017 17:23 | By Roadkill

Folks, here comes the bills of $200 million and you guessed it $200 million more in debt. Never mind fixing roads, road widening, don't bother with fixing the leaky sewerage ponds into Welcome Bay, forget storm water issues, and a raft of other needs. Lets have a magical and magnificent castle at a huge cost.

Nincompoops personified

Posted on 21-04-2017 14:48 | By ROCCO

And who pray tell exactly voted for these fiscal clowns.

How amazing...

Posted on 21-04-2017 14:17 | By GreertonBoy

Here it is 2017 and the only way to get rid of mould in a perfectly good building, is to demolish it? I wonder what my insurance company would tell me if I told them my bathroom had some mould on the ceiling and I wanted the house demolished? I wonder what is really going on...


Posted on 21-04-2017 14:09 | By Kaimai

Is anyone being held accountable for the design and construction of a building that is now deemed unsafe?

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