Asbestos forces RBNZ to vacate building

by Krizzel Canlas13 Aug 2018

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is vacating its Wellington building for about three months so it can remediate asbestos issues.

The central bank has advised that its currency, payments and settlements, and markets operations are not affected. All other critical real-time banking functions will be operated from its Auckland premises.

According to Governor Adrian Orr, the decision comes after ongoing asbestos remediation was proving too complex and disruptive. It decided to close the building so it can address the issue comprehensively.

“I apologise for the inconvenience to tenants, staff, and customers of affected organisations,” he said. “I congratulate my team for being so organised and effective.”

RBNZ said a trace amount of airborne asbestos was detected in one floor’s lift foyer last week. The amount detected was low risk but the health and safety of all building occupants was the priority. The floor - level 6 - was vacated immediately.

“We expect to move back into the building after three months, when building-wide remediation work is finished and safety tests have been completed and signed off by specialist asbestos firm Major Consulting Group,” Orr said.


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