New Zealand state-owned enterprise KiwiRail Holdings is planning to begin seismic strengthening work at Wellington Railway Station, as part of its plan to make the station more earthquake resistant.

The main structure of the station is currently rated at between 47% to 53% new building standard (NBS) for an ‘Importance Level 3’ building, while the atrium truss system is rated below the 34% NBS compliance level.

Asbestos roofing and dust within the ceiling will be removed over the next 12 months. The work will be largely in the station’s ceiling space, and will be carried out by specialist contractors.

"There are issues with the atrium support system just inside the main entrance."

The atrium ceiling will be protected and will be reinstated to its present quality. Repair work will also be done on the clock in the front of the station, which marks the first work of the building since 1930.

KiwiRail CEO Jim Quinn said: "Most of the building is at 50% or more of the new building standard for public buildings.

"However, as we said late last year, there are issues with the atrium support system just inside the main entrance, and we are finalising plans for strengthening work.

"We have been in touch with all of our tenants to discuss the work plan and how we can complete the strengthening work with minimal disruption to them."

The station improvement work is part of the company’s building resilience programme.