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$1million demolition to go ahead ‘when practicable’

The old nurses' home at Wairau Hospital has had it's demolition put on hold as New Zealand battles Covid-19. Photo: Matt Brown.

Covid-19 has bought demolition work on one of Blenheim’s oldest heritage buildings to a halt.

The derelict Wairau nurses’ home is all but destroyed, with only the front façade remaining.

But a Nelson Marlborough Health spokeswoman says work on the $1 million project will continue “when practicable.”

Work on the red-brick facility in the grounds of Wairau Hospital was expected to be completed by March.

The nurses’ home has lain empty for almost six years, costing health bosses around $30,000 to keep the building fenced off.

“The demolition is largely completed – just the front-facing façade to come down now,” the spokeswoman says.

Concerns over asbestos and seismic rating issues meant the former home would cost too much to address accessibility and fire safety problems.

Nelson Marlborough District Board staff decided demolition was ultimately a better use of public health funds.

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