Lyttelton Police Station unable to be repaired

Thursday 29 December 2011, 2:05PM

By New Zealand Police



The historic Lyttelton Police Station, built in the 1880s, will not be repaired.

Inspector Malcolm Johnston, Southern Area Commander, says after months of engineering investigations, it had proved uneconomic to repair the station, which was badly damaged in the 22 February earthquake.

"This is sad news for Police, for our local staff and for the Lyttleton community," he says.

"The station is an iconic building for the port town, which has already lost of many of its historic buildings.

"Over the past several months we have worked with our engineers to explore every possible opportunity to repair the station.

"However we have received advice that to repair the building to an adequate standard would cost at least $1.5 million dollars. That is significantly more than the cost of a new station, and is not economic.

"Last week's earthquakes caused significant additional damage, and will have further increased the cost of repairs.

"But we remain committed to Lyttelton and we are giving the local community an assurance that Police will retain a presence here and a new facility will be built."

During the February earthquake the building suffered significant structural damage including extensive cracking to the main walls.

Police in Lyttelton have been working out of a garage adjacent to the station since February, and a portable building has recently been added to provide further amenities.

Additional temporary facilities were likely to be added to ensure the station can function effectively in the medium-term.

Inspector Johnston says the decision on the building means Police may now look at developing a shared facility in the town with other emergency services including the NZ Fire Service and St John Ambulance.

"There's an increasing realisation that it makes good sense for the services to co-locate and share facilities.

"This provides us a good opportunity to look at whether such a solution would work for Lyttelton. At this stage no decisions have been made, and it's too early to say what any future facility might look like.

"But we will definitely look to progress discussions with our partner agencies in the coming months."

The station was built between 1880 and 1882, and opened in 1882, replacing an earlier structure. It is described as being designed in the Victorian Italianate style of the period.