Hastings District Council has closed the chapel at the crematorium due to concerns over its earthquake strength.
The chapel was placed on the Council’s Earthquake Prone Building register after an Initial Evaluation Procedure (IEP) showed it rated at 28.9% of the current building code. Government regulations require buildings to rate above 33% of the code to avoid being placed on the register.
Acting Group Manager Community Facilities Craig Thew says "A detailed design assessment has been partially completed on the building and this shows that some work is required to bring the building up to a standard where Council would be confident of public safety in the event of an earthquake. We have requested that this assessment is completed as a matter of urgency and then Council will make a decision on the future options for the facility. In the meantime the chapel is closed to the public."
Mr Thew says "The decision to close the chapel will not affect the operation of the crematorium. Staff who operate the cremator have been made aware of the building strength and a new health and safety plan has been put in place to ensure their safety."
"Council have had discussions as part of the Long Term Plan process on the need to upgrade or replace the cremator in the near future and this requirement will need to be worked through as part of discussions on the future options for the chapel building," Mr Thew says.
The crematorium is owned by the Hastings District Council, but services the whole of Hawke’s Bay from Wairoa to Waipukurau.
The crematorium was built in 1943/44 and the first cremation took place on the 15th December 1944.
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