Heretaunga House, deceased.

Demolition of Hastings Council-owned Heretaunga House is near completion.

And to HDC’s credit, along the way a remarkable 97% of the building materials have been recycled.

Council reports that, for example, two tonnes of plasterboard have been salvaged and on-sold for use in building projects in the ongoing cyclone recovery process, along with 36 heat pumps and four kitchens. 

Re-usable materials – timber, carpet tiles, doors – have found new purpose as far away as Tonga, where communities are being rebuilt after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2022.

Around 5,000 cubic metres of concrete from the building will be crushed onsite and used to fill in the site, 1,500 carpet tiles will be used in a new waste education centre at Ōmarunui Landfill, and the deconstruction helped to establish the first flat glass recycling programme in Hawke’s Bay. 

No dollar value has been placed on the recycling achievement, but surely savings are being made by those receiving recycled materials, and every tonne less waste going the Omarunui landfill shared by Hastings and Napier extends the life of that expensive facility.

Deconstruction company McMahons Services have led the project. Regional demolition and construction waste minimisation advisor Geoff Gibson, employed by Hastings District Council and Napier City Council, said, “We’ve managed to redirect an impressive amount of useful material to help communities in need, in the process setting the standard for responsible demolition practices within Hastings.

Napier City Council used the same approach to ‘deconstruct’ its Civic Building, as shown in this video, with NCC targeting a similar 90% recycling rate for materials. 

NCC’s eventual new building aims for a Green Star 5 rating from the New Zealand Green Building Council, representing excellence in healthy and sustainable building. And to achieve ‘five stars’ rating, the demolition of what previously stood there must be taken into account.

Advice on waste minimisation in the construction and demolition space can be found via


Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Congratulations HDC, that’s an outstanding effort. Building and construction are a major source of greenhouse gases emissions and this is the kind of practical leadership that we need to decarbonise our economy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *