Preparing for more mould news

Councillors are being asked to put aside at least $4 million dollars over the next two years to deal with the city’s mouldy administration building.

That’s in addition to the $1.3 million the mould issue has cost so far. The figures are contained in a report to be discussed at tomorrow’s city council meeting.


The city’s Civic buildings, in the foreground, first began leaking in the year following the official opening.

It’s the first time councillors have been publicly appraised of the issue that has seen around 300 of the city’s 400 or so staff rehoused since public confirmation of the mould on December 15 last year.

The extent of the work required to fix the leaks that caused the mould won’t be known until a consultant’s report is delivered in late March.

Meanwhile staff are also investigating whether the mould infested buildings require seismic strengthening. Council won’t be able to decide on options until the additional information is available.

Councillors are asked to note the incurred, committed and projected costs for the mould issue in 2014/15 of $1,367,332, and approve a funding approach that firstly uses the $1 million rates surplus from 2014/15 with any remaining costs funded from council’s risk management reserve.

Council is also asked to approve the committed and known mould costs for 2015/16 and 2016/17 of $1,053,424 per annum and approve an additional $1 million per annum for potential future council campus building costs.

A building contingency reserve is also required, which will require a further allocation of $794,318 from 2017/18.

The reason why the extra money needs to be set aside becomes clear when the buildings’ history is considered. They have all leaked for years, and additions made in the early 2000s didn’t stop the leaks.

There are four buildings in total. The administration building at the Hamilton Street end, the two Civic Buildings on the Wharf Street end and the library.

The administration building was completed in 1972 with an enclosed canopy entranceway extension added in 1994 and a single-storey extension onto Willow St and Hamilton St in 1998.

Leaks were discovered in July 1998 where the single-storey extension joined the original building and on the outer edge of this extension.

More leaks occurred in the administration building and the civic buildings in 2005 as a result of a ’weather bomb’ storm.

After that the extent and frequency of leaks ‘has been more than minor’.

The ground and first floors of the civic buildings were completed in June 1989, and the first leaks reported the following March. From then onwards there were continuing reports of leaks, wet carpets and mould.

The cause has been blamed on the construction of the roof-top car-park, the air-bridges, the arcade roof plus windows and joinery. The leaks continued in spite of remedial work undertaken by the original builder.

Leaks, mould and health concerns forced the evacuation of staff from the first floor of the Wharf/Willow St civic building for three months in 2003 while a thorough cleansing process took place.

The following year air quality testing on the first floor produced satisfactory results, but bacteria on the carpet, tiles and paint samples produced some exceptionally high results. The test results recommended removal and remediation of water-damaged materials.

Known symptoms for black mould (stachybotrys) exposure include coughs, red eyes and asthma­ symptoms that have been reported by a number of staff. Prendes, supported by the relevant health and mould experts, advised that staff should be evacuated from the building

Test results cleared the customer services call centre on the ground floor of Civic C, and chambers accommodation on the second floor of Civic A, of any mould issues.




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11 Comments

Spot on, s83cruiser

Posted on 03-02-2015 08:28 | By nerak

Apart from saying the rot starts at the top, couldn’t have put it better myself. And ’Have we been lied to?’ - of course we have, isn’t this what councils do, year after year after year?

Ratbag council!

Posted on 03-02-2015 07:53 | By jed

This council is disrespecting the people of tauranga with their ridiculous and costly antics!! I still marvel how Crosby remains mayor but i guess it just shows the poor calibre of tauranga local body politicians in general.

Yes to all...........

Posted on 03-02-2015 00:23 | By groutby

Of the comments..so far...you know the drill, say nothing and continue to expect the ratepayer to stump up. Have we had a "formal and enlightening comment from the CEO?...no...have we had a formal and enlightening comment from the Mayor..(ever?)...no. These people are not on our side and we are paying for it!

Mount Cosmopolitan Club

Posted on 02-02-2015 21:19 | By The Beaten Generation

Why don’t they shift in there. The council own it, so no rent. Lots of parking.

Woodn't hurt (pun intended)

Posted on 02-02-2015 18:40 | By s83cruiser

for the council to take the opportunity to get rid of some of the dead wood in the offices. As we all know fungus and mould grow very well on dead wood. Perhaps a good purging of the staff as well as the building is in order. Move the whole shebang into the art gallery at least then THAT white elephant would become of some use. After all as rate payer we are propping up that waste of rate payers money. Sounds to me like the council need some real practical people in there to sort this mess because heaven knows the dead wood that is in there now have let the leaking building get to this stage where it’s going to take MANY millions to put right. Down size I say get rid of dead wood and move to a smaller building

Have we been lied to?

Posted on 02-02-2015 16:31 | By Murray.Guy

Recent reports quoting Mayor Crosby have assured ratepayers that they will NOT be required to contribute, that the money is sitting in a bucket for repairs and maintenance.

Leaky Building

Posted on 02-02-2015 14:59 | By Conzar

So is the city council going to pay for all of the leaky buildings and homes in Tauranga? If not, they are elitist only caring about themselves using PUBLIC MONEY.

Prudent Management?

Posted on 02-02-2015 12:56 | By Sue

I would be interested to know if as a part of the management of this issue, the Council has purchased over 300 new desks ? This would seem to be extravagant to say the least, or were of the existing desks no longer useable? Prudent management would have been to relocate the staff and their desks, even if they needed a clean (the desks that is) . No wonder the bill is already up to the present level.

Library non fiction

Posted on 02-02-2015 12:39 | By

I guess this means that the non-fiction section of the library is closed for at least the next 3 months. This service is what we are paying for in our rates! Of course council are looking after their own, but keeping a service going doesn’t come into the equation. Get the books out (masks etc), put them in the art gallery temporarily. Give us back the service we are paying for!

Makes me Sick!!

Posted on 02-02-2015 12:27 | By Mackka

..... reading this!!! Too angry right now to add any more!!!!!!!!

Absolutely ridiculous

Posted on 02-02-2015 11:26 | By Councillorwatch

If the buildings have leaked for years, then why wasn’t the problem fixed by the builder as it seems to have been noticed straight away? Doesn’t the council have staff to follow a building through to its fit and proper completion? Also how come with many leaky buildings in NZ, it just happens to be this one that requires evacuations of staff and now a huge amount to solve a bit of mold? Is this really necessary, or is the ratepayer a soft target when it comes to getting new things?

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