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Published Tuesday 28 Nov 2023

Update from Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley Acting Group Director Operations Hospital & Specialist Services Jamie Duncan

Te Whatu Ora Capital, Coast & Hutt Valley is strengthening the connections of three of the four roof truss connections in Te Pae Tiaki Wellington ED over the coming months.

Although we have been advised there is a low risk to safety, the need to ensure our community can rely on the ED following a significant earthquake is crucial. We have engaged contractors Naylor Love to strengthen the three roof truss connections over the coming months.

We will set up a new area to care for up to 22 patients and their whānau who have been assessed and can move out of ED while waiting to move to a ward, home or another service. This will be in Ward 1 of the old children’s hospital, which we are refurbishing for adult use.

This will enable us to maintain the current capability to care for patients – which is vital given our ED is at, or over, capacity most days. It also means we can maintain building resilience in the event of a significant earthquake, while we continue developing the detailed business case for the Front of Whare and apply for national funding over the coming years.

Te Pae Tiaki building was rated by engineers at 34% NBS in May 2022. A subsequent engineer’s high-level review recommended further site investigations. Once the work is complete, we expect the building to be rated at 40% NBS.

The engineers found the connections on three of the four steel trusses which connect the roof structure to the adjoining building are not as robust as the others. However, as they are located within the wider roof system, which is sound, the Trusted Seismic Advisor at Te Whatu Ora has advised that the risk of structural failure is highly unlikely in a moderate or even significant earthquake.

I wish to reassure staff and patients that their safety is always a top priority for Te Whatu Ora.