Statistics House investigation

We commissioned an expert panel to investigate the factors that led to the partial floor collapse at Wellington’s Statistics House during the 2016 Kaikōura earthquake.

About the investigation

The investigation looked at the building design, construction and land influences that could have affected the performance of the building.

The expert panel published a report of its findings in March 2017.

New information which emerged during the demolition of Statistics House in December 2017 and January 2018 led us to reconvene the expert panel. The engineering consultant engaged to monitor the demolition made observations which indicated that the seating provided for some of the precast concrete floor units was less than what was shown on the original design documents.

The panel concluded that the new information did not change the original conclusions about the primary cause of the partial floor collapse.

About the Kaikōura earthquake

The Kaikōura earthquake was particularly complex. More than 12 separate faults broke during the quake, including some that had not previously been mapped. The frequency of shaking in Wellington, 240 km from the quake's epicentre, affected mid-rise buildings in the capital.


Together with Engineering New Zealand and Engineering New Zealand's technical societies, we have developed guidance for owners and building professionals responsible for assessing and designing multi-storey concrete moment resisting frame buildings with precast concrete floor systems.

Framed buildings with precast concrete floor systems(external link) is available on the Building Performance website.

More information

Questions and answers about the Statistics House investigation [PDF, 220 KB]

In this section

2018 Statistics House Investigation addendum report

The expert panel investigating earthquake damage to Statistics House had 3 extra recommendations after new information emerged during the building's demolition.

2017 Statistics House Investigation Report

The 2017 Investigation Report into Statistics House concluded that a combination of 4 factors contributed to the partial failure of lower floor segments.