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Published Wednesday 12 Feb 2020

While Wairarapa DHB achieved compliance for its successful installation of improved bracing in the hospital ceilings last year, the seismic journey is not over yet. This week, the DHB will start installation of solutions to improve areas in the main building that might not stand up to a major earthquake.

Four areas of the hospital will be strengthened; the canopy at the main entrance, the ambulance bay, the cafeteria and the glazed walkways.

Seismic compliance issues at Wairarapa Hospital were first announced in June 2018 and, since that time, extensive bracing work to make-safe 101 items of plant in the in-ceiling spaces has been completed. Then followed an assessment of the rest of the building and connected structures. The risks found in that assessment will now be addressed, with builders Holmes Construction Ltd again on the job from next week.

“I am pleased with the seismic project progress,” said the DHB’s new chief executive, Dale Oliff. “This phase of work to strengthen the entrance canopy, ambulance bay, café and the glass walkways is expected to only take four months, and we don’t expect a lot of disruption at all.”

“Staff, patients and visitors will hear some noise from the build, and there will be some evidence of the works about the place, but we don’t think our usual walk paths or work spaces will be affected and it won’t be in general patient areas.”

The DHB says it will keep everyone informed of the progress as the work gets underway.

“Our website and Facebook page will follow the progress of the seismic work, and we will be communicating with patients and visitors too,” Dale said. “It is important for us that people feel they can ask questions and know they are receiving correct and current information.”

The community is asked to bear with the hospital team while the bracing work is completed and to follow any health and safety signs and instructions that may be on site.

“It will be temporary, and I don’t believe it will impact the provision of any services,” Dale said.