Old St Paul's Re-Opens

18 Aug 2020

Congratulations to Heritage New Zealand and the team involved in the successful completion of the $3.3M project to strengthen and redevelop Old St Paul’s in Wellington.

The timber framed, gothic revival former cathedral is considered one of New Zealand’s greatest heritage places.  The strengthening was deemed necessary and desirable after the Kaikōura earthquakes during which walls and columns shifted, and two columns cracked.  Although the building was not declared earthquake prone and deemed safe for continued use, temporary strapping was installed throughout the building to prevent further structural movement in the event of another earthquake before the strengthening work could be undertaken.

In August 2018 Octa was engaged to manage the seismic repairs and system upgrades, and in May 2019 the building was closed to allow building works to commence.

After the church was emptied and protection was mounted around interior linings, the building was straightened and strengthened and new fire safety, electrical, lighting, heating, AV and security systems were installed. The building was also repainted, re-levelled and roofs were replaced and repaired.

Fifteen months after the doors were closed for construction, the building was reopened in July 2020. Minister Grant Robertson who spoke at the opening ceremony was highly complimentary of the quality of the work undertaken. Associate Director Will Lamb, who was the Project Manager for this project, noted this was an extremely challenging, yet highly rewarding project to have been involved in.