The implosion of the Radio Network Building in central Christchurch is being described as a sign of progress in the Christchurch rebuild.
"This is more than the demolition of a building," says
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (CERA) chief executive
"It is a symbol of the beginning of a new era for Christchurch. We are now looking beyond those buildings that are lost, and to the birth of a new central city."
The 14-storey building will become the first to be imploded in New Zealand at 8am on Sunday.
Watch a live stream of the implosion on onenews.co.nz this Sunday at 8am.
Sutton said while it is sad to see the building go, it will make way for "an exciting new central city."
He said if the implosion is successful, other earthquake-damaged buildings may be demolished the same way, which is faster and cheaper than other methods being used.
Implosion "rock star"
The man responsible for Sunday's implosion, Mark Loizeaux, is described as a "rock star" of the demolition world but he insists Sunday's effort will be no easy feat.
"We don't blow buildings up...this is an engineering discipline, it starts with math it ends with math," he told TV ONE's Close Up.
Loizeaux says the company, Controlled Demolition Inc, has imploded more buildings, chimneys, towers, bridges and other structures than all its competitors combined.
"We blow up buildings for Hollywood all the time," he says, listing movies such as Batman, Lethal Weapon 3 and Enemy of the State as former jobs.
But Loizeaux says their latest job, the Radio Network House, is the most challenging yet and admits the pressure is on to get it right.
"If we can do in this country, what we've done all over the world and make demolition safer, make it faster, make it more cost effective, less of an impact on the environment, shorter duration of inconvenience for people in the community, that's a privilege," he says.
Viewers asked to stay away
Demolition contractors Naylor Love and Ceres NZ have advised the public to stay home to watch the implosion.
A public exclusion zone will be in place around the implosion site, with road closures on Madras, Gloucester and Worcester streets.
In a statement, the demolition companies said dust was an "unpreventable by-product'' of all types of demolition.
Dust from the implosion would be released over several seconds, but could linger in the area for up to six minutes.
- with Fairfax