Gisborne’s version of ground zero

EDITORIAL

The old girl put up a good fight. That will be the opinion of many as they see the demolition of the former administration building in Fitzherbert Street finally reach ground level.

There were many who chuckled to themselves at what seemed an inordinate time on the face of it to demolish the building.

The final block that contained the customer services seemed to stand like the Alamo for weeks, resisting the attacks of the contractor’s heavy machinery.

No more. Tuesday’s front page picture in the Gisborne Herald reinforced what people walking past can now clearly see — the building is down to Gisborne’s version of ground zero.

Tairawhiti Investments general manager Matt Feisst says they are well on track to complete the demolition by the end of this month. “We expect to have the site down to the soil by next week,” he said.

Whether or not the building needed to come down was the hot issue of the recent local body election campaign with some councillors expressing late doubts and a host of letter writers opposing the council decision.

There were suggestions that it could have an impact on the election of the nine city ward members.

Eventually two of them were defeated at the polls but seven others kept their seats.

Some would feel it was the attraction of having two new fresh council members in Shannon Dowsing and Karen Fenn that carried them home rather than any reaction to the building issue.

Gisborne’s rumour-mongers, always a busy and inventive breed, have had a wonderful time in the past few weeks.

There was the rumour that demolition was being halted until after the elections followed by all sorts of theories as to why it was taking so long.

The jungle drums have now turned their attention to the new building with predictions that it will run well over the projected $12.5 million including relocation costs.

The sooner that the new owners, Gisborne Holdings Ltd, can announce a successful construction bid the better.

In the meantime, what was once a beating heart of Gisborne is now just a pile of rubble.

The old girl put up a good fight. That will be the opinion of many as they see the demolition of the former administration building in Fitzherbert Street finally reach ground level.

There were many who chuckled to themselves at what seemed an inordinate time on the face of it to demolish the building.

The final block that contained the customer services seemed to stand like the Alamo for weeks, resisting the attacks of the contractor’s heavy machinery.

No more. Tuesday’s front page picture in the Gisborne Herald reinforced what people walking past can now clearly see — the building is down to Gisborne’s version of ground zero.

Tairawhiti Investments general manager Matt Feisst says they are well on track to complete the demolition by the end of this month. “We expect to have the site down to the soil by next week,” he said.

Whether or not the building needed to come down was the hot issue of the recent local body election campaign with some councillors expressing late doubts and a host of letter writers opposing the council decision.

There were suggestions that it could have an impact on the election of the nine city ward members.

Eventually two of them were defeated at the polls but seven others kept their seats.

Some would feel it was the attraction of having two new fresh council members in Shannon Dowsing and Karen Fenn that carried them home rather than any reaction to the building issue.

Gisborne’s rumour-mongers, always a busy and inventive breed, have had a wonderful time in the past few weeks.

There was the rumour that demolition was being halted until after the elections followed by all sorts of theories as to why it was taking so long.

The jungle drums have now turned their attention to the new building with predictions that it will run well over the projected $12.5 million including relocation costs.

The sooner that the new owners, Gisborne Holdings Ltd, can announce a successful construction bid the better.

In the meantime, what was once a beating heart of Gisborne is now just a pile of rubble.

Your email address will not be published. Comments will display after being approved by a staff member. Comments may be edited for clarity.

Bruce Walters - 2 years ago
I don't know too much about the criteria set for deciding to demolish the old girl but I do know those who had to make the decision would have had a world of opinion and facts to work through and given all that we've seen in Kaikoura and Wellington I'm going to say: thanks for putting people and safety first.
Good luck for the remainder of the project GHL, I'm very confident you can deliver an environment that will a great place to work each day and something we can all be a little proud of.

Poll

  • Voting please wait...
    Your vote has been cast. Reloading page...
    Do you have a better understanding of the first encounters here between Maori and Europeans after the Tuia 250 Ki Turanga commemorations?