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Carnegie Building Earthquake Strengthening

Key Projects

In September 2016, an initial engineering report determined that the Carnegie Building was earthquake prone and in need of major seismic strengthening for it to be safe for full-time occupation as a museum and to host museum staff and visitors.

A subsequent peer review of this engineering report revealed that the building was above the 34% National Building Standards (NBS) rating and therefore occupation was acceptable, although lower than the recommended 67% for public buildings.



Construction drawing and engineering design work for the earthquake strengthening work prepared.


A successful tenderer for earthquake strengthening was appointed, however work was delayed while Council applied for external funding to complete work to bring the museum’s climate and collection storage up to modern museum standards.


Funding from the Ministry of Culture and Heritage was approved.

April 2021

Final tender for work was awarded to Trademark Construction in April 2021 and work began immediately.

August 2021

Work on pouring the concrete for the foundations started. The perimeter foundations are a critical component of the work required to raise the building to 100% NBS. Subcontractors Shortcrete poured 67 cubic metres of concrete (supplied by Allied Concrete), and 12 tonnes of reinforcing steel has gone into the foundation cages. The perimeter steel reinforcing cages average 1m deep by 600mm wide spanning the complete perimeter of the buildings main and internal walls.

September 2021

Work on the perimeter foundations of the Carnegie Building was completed, including structurally tying the reinforcing bars through the floor into the foundation concreting.

February 2022

80% of the construction work has completed.

Contractors working on the exterior of the building, restoring the parapets and broken windows, as well as cleaning the building

May 2022

Work to date:

  • full installation of new reinforced concrete foundations,
  • concrete shear walls installed,
  • internal structural steel columns in the interior walls,
  • reinforcing the ceiling with a steel diaphragm.
  • external upgrades consist of securing the brickwork, removing the parapet to install new framing, replacing coloured glass in the windows and full cleaning of the building.

December 2022

The remaining works to be undertaken are external finishes to the plasterwork at the top of the building. This includes recoating the columns on the roof. Some of the works are required to re-secure mouldings that have become detached from the building and present a safety hazard.

Next steps

When the renovation of the Carnegie Building is complete, the Museum staff will focus on reopening the exhibition space, starting with room 5.

Exhibition Development

The Ngā Whakatūranga project’s financial feasibility report has been completed. To inform the concept design stage, public workshops with communities and schools have been conducted during 2022 and continue to run in early 2023. A Funding application with the Ministry for Culture and Heritage Regeneration Fund, lead by Heritage Hokitika, for the Ngā Whakatūranga project has been progressed through to the third round of applications.

Westland Public Interpretation Workshops

The Hokitika Museum has facilitated a range of public interpretation workshops throughout Westland with communities and schools. These workshops enable the Hokitika Museum to understand what these communities think is important in regard to their cultural identity and heritage. This approach ensures that recognition is given to stories and timelines that form the identity of Westland communities.

Collection Workshops

The Hokitika Museum continues to develop collection workshops with Grey District and Buller District schools and communities in early 2023. The purpose of these workshops is for the communities to meet the Hokitika Museum and connect with collection items sourced from their communities. These workshops will support the Hokitika Museum to understand how these source communities would want these collection item(s) to be presented on the online collection database and when exhibited.

Meeting Reports and Minutes

Media releases

Walkthrough of work at 7 April 2022