20 April 2017
A five metre exclusion zone has been put in place around the front of Taupo District Council's Lake Terrace building this afternoon.
Damage to a lower façade has heightened concerns about the spread of friable asbestos.
Ten days ago it was announced that the presence of friable asbestos posed significant health and safety concerns and staff would need to be relocated from the building within the next three months.
Chief executive Gareth Green said the damage to the building was deeply concerning and advice on what actions needed to be taken had been sought from asbestos removal experts.
"Their advice to isolate the risk was for the front of the building to be fenced off, with a five metre exclusion zone, and for the windows along the front of the building to be sealed with notices put in place so that they are not used," he said.
Signage would also be erected warning staff and the public that there was asbestos in the area.
Mr Green said an investigation into the cause of the damage had been launched as there were concerns it was due to an act of vandalism.
"If that is the case it would be extremely disappointing as this has created increased risk to both staff and our community, and has resulted in unnecessary expense for our ratepayers."