Squatter injured after falling three storeys in abandoned Wellington building

A recent incident in downtown Wellington left a squatter injured after falling three storeys through a collapsed stairwell at a boarded-up building. Contrary to initial reports, the incident did not occur at the derelict Amora Hotel but at the adjacent Pringle House.

The injured individual, who had been waiting for hours for assistance, was found alive and able to communicate, according to Fire and Emergency assistant commander Martin Wilby. Te Whatu Ora confirmed that the patient was in critical condition at Wellington Hospital and receiving treatment.

Firefighters were preparing to conduct a thorough search of the building once it was deemed safe to enter, in order to ascertain if anyone else was inside. Various emergency vehicles, including police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks, were stationed outside the premises.

The building’s owner, Jason Dunn from Prime Property, revealed that the abandoned structure had been under the control of its insurance company until recently. Due to recurring break-ins and incidents of arson on the top floor, the building had been sealed off with security fencing and internal access had been restricted.

Pringle House, previously known as the Regional Council Centre, had been a well-maintained and fully occupied property until it was deemed earthquake-prone following the 2013 Seddon earthquake. Despite previous reports highlighting the need for significant upgrades, the building’s current state remained a concern.

Locals in the area reported that the building had attracted rough sleepers for several months, with instances of break-ins and makeshift living spaces being common. Efforts to secure the building and prevent unauthorized access were ongoing, with feasibility studies being conducted to determine the next steps for the quake-prone structure.

While Prime Property sought assistance from Wellington City Council to address the issue of trespassers, the council emphasized that building security and maintenance were the responsibility of the owners. Discussions regarding potential earthquake repairs and strengthening measures were underway to ensure the safety of the building and surrounding community.