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New Zealand Historic Places Trust - Heritage This Month

Win tickets to the Dave Dobbyn & Don McGlashan concert at Old St Paul's

If you haven't 'liked' Old St Paul's on Facebook - here's another great reason to. The page is currently running a promotion – for a chance to win a double pass to the upcoming Dave Dobbyn & Don McGlashan concert that is part of the 2013 Acoustic Church Tour, simply give the page a ‘like’, share its post about the upcoming Acoustic Church Tour and leave a short comment.


·         War Memorial recognised for outstanding significance

·         Ponsonby Baptist complex registered

·         Renewed focus on Cuba Street

·         Te Waimate Mission roof well underway

·         International recogniiton for Olveston

·         Historic listing for rare phone box

·         Nothing sheepish about these residents

·         Haggis a welcome addition to celebration

·         Day of Archaeology


Northern Region

The Magic Flute at Alberton

Mark the beginning of spring with the Starlight String Quartet and friends playing selections of Mozart’s music, including excerpts from The Magic Flute

1 September, 2.30pm. $20 per person including afternoon tea (no concessions). Numbers limited, bookings essential – email alberton@historic.org.nz or phone 09 846 7367. 

Auckland AGM

The NZHPT Auckland Branch Committee's will hold its Annual General Meeting on 27 August beginning at 6.30pm and finishing at about 8pm.

The meeting will be held at the NZHPT’s Northern Regional Office on level 3 of the Premier Building, 2 Durham Street East, Auckland City. Car parking is available in the Victoria Street Carpark (evening rates apply from 5pm - $2 per hour to a maximum of $7.50 per day).

All welcome – please RSVP to the NZHPT’s Mid Northern Office by phone (09) 307 9920 or email infonorthern@historic.org.nz.

Northland Celebration

Northland members of the NZHPT are invited to attend a celebration marking the transition of the Northland Branch Committee into Heritage Northland Inc, with the Chair of the NZHPT Shonagh Kenderdine as guest speaker. The celebration, which will also acknowledge the work of the members of the Northland Branch Committee – takes place at James Kemp Hall, 207 Kerikeri Road on 17 August at 1.30pm.

Tairawhiti Branch Committee AGM

The NZHPT’s Tairawhiti Branch Committee will hold its AGM at the Tairawhiti Museum on the afternoon of
Saturday 31 August (check local paper for time). The guest speaker will be Dame Anne Salmond talking on the significance for the region of the 250th Anniversary of Cook’s arrival on 9 October, 1769.

Delicious dinner at Kerikeri Mission

The Kerikeri Mission Station is hosting a delicious heritage dinner at the gorgeous Honey House café.

The menu is inspired by missionary wife, Marianne Williams’ “first dinner on the shores of New Zealand”, which she enjoyed in August 1823 in the dining room of Kemp House.

Local seasonal produce features in the four-course dinner, with wine included in the ticket price. Dine by candlelight in front of the fire while a special guest provides entertainment between courses. And for those who enjoy a tipple after dinner, specialty drinks are available for purchase.

The evening begins at 6pm on Saturday 31 August in Kemp House, with a tour of the dining room, before a pre-dinner drink is served. Dinner will then follow in the Honey House. Seating is limited for this unique event. Tickets cost $75 per person and are available now at the Stone Store, or contact 09 407 9236 email: kkvsc@historic.org.nz.

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Central Region

Public history seminar: The Red Cross Lens on New Zealand Social History

Wednesday 7 August, L4, ASB House, 101 The Terrace, Wellington.

Speaker: Margaret Tennant
Margaret Tennant was formerly Professor of History at Massey University, and is the author of The Fabric of Welfare. Voluntary Organisations, Government and Welfare in New Zealand 1840-2005, Children's Health, the Nation's Wealth.

For more information about the seminar visit the Ministry of Culture and Heritage website.

At the Crossroads—The Seismic Story

Thursday 8 August - St Joseph’s Catholic Church 42 Ellice Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington, 1-5pm.

Are you in leadership in a Church? Are you involved in building management, insurance or communication?

- Understanding seismic risk
- Seismic risk management approaches
- Managing insurance risk
- Engagement and communications

Speakers: Greg Wright—Executive Director, Methodist Trust Association.
Dr. Kit Miyamoto—CEO and Chairman,
Miyamoto International / Miyamoto Impact.
Don Baskerville—Chair, AllChurches Insurance Bureau.
Neville Brown—Manager Earthquake Resilience, Wellington City Council.

Free to attend. Registration essential, spaces limited.

RSVP to David Mullin by email d.mullin@wn.catholic.org.nz or call 04-496 1773

Greytown Community Heritage Trust - Annual Heritage Lecture: The outlook for Wellington's heritage buildings in the current environment of earthquake sensitivity.

Friday 20 September - Little Theatre, Main Street Greytown - 7.30pm drinks/nibbles; 8pm lecture.

Speaker:  Malcolm Fleming – a director of Accent Architects – Wellington and Greytown and a national councillor and current central chapter president of the New Zealand Institute of Building.

To register contact Frank Minehan (06) 304 8151 or at fminehan@clear.net.nz

Futuna Chapel Open Days

The Futuna Trust is pleased to open Futuna Chapel to the public from 10am to 2pm on the first Sunday of each month until the end of 2013.

Futuna Chapel, which opened in 1961, is a unique piece of New Zealand architecture. It was designed by John Scott, and received the inaugural 25 Year Award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects.

In addition to the inspiring architectural design, the Chapel contains many works by artist Jim Allen, including the Stations of the Cross, and the Christ Figure.

Southern Region

Exhibition at Otago Museum - H D Skinner Annex

Heritage Lost and Found: Our Changing Cityscape
Thursday 8 August to November 2013.

Explore Dunedin’s heritage buildings past and present, discover buildings that have been lost, uncover heritage buildings hidden behind a modern façade and celebrate heritage buildings preserved.


Heritage Impact 150 Symposium: Heritage-Led Regeneration

This is an Industrial Heritage symposium celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Dunedin Gasworks. Sir Neil Cossons, Patron of the Dunedin Gasworks Museum will be keynote speaker.

3-5 October 2013, Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
Visit www.gasworks150.org.nz for more info and registration details.

New book to celebrate iconic Dunedin architect

A new book will celebrate the life and career of pre-eminent New Zealand architect Robert Arther Lawson.  R.A. Lawson,

R.A.Lawson: Victorian Architect of Dunedin, written by Norman Ledgerwood with contemporary photographs by Graham Warman is being launched by the Historic Cemeteries Conservation Trust of New Zealand on 25 September.

Following the discovery of gold in Otago in the early 1860s, the settlement of Dunedin quickly grew to become the largest and richest city in New Zealand. Robert Arthur Lawson, a leading architect of the day, played a major role in the growth of Dunedin — from a small township to a city of remarkable and enduring Victorian architecture.

The soaring spires and grand arches of Lawson’s buildings captured public imagination throughout the province; his work survives in towns throughout Otago and Southland. During his years of practice, 27 of which were spent in Dunedin, Lawson designed over 250 buildings; an astonishing range which included 45 churches large and small; commercial, residential, educational, civic and institutional architecture.

His most significant works — First Presbyterian Church of Otago, Knox Presbyterian Church, Larnach Castle, Otago Boys’ High School, Dunedin Municipal Building — take their place amongst the country’s most important historical buildings and grace Dunedin to this day, giving the city its distinctive character, unique among New Zealand’s towns and cities. 

The impressive book will retail at $75 and be availavble from booksellers from 25 September. Email ubs@unibooks.co.nz for more information.

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Vacancies - visitor hosts at NZHPT properties

Hayes Engineering Works

We are currently looking for two fixed-term Visitor Host roles at Hayes Engineering Works in Oturehua. There is a part-time 20 hours a week role that is fixed-term through to 31 May 2014 and a full-time 40 hours a week role that is fixed term through to 31 May 2014.

The Visitor Hosts will ensure the property is well presented and will tell the stories of the site as an interactive guide. They will also help run the busy cafe and make great coffee.

We are looking for a person with a passion for history, a genuine customer focus and the drive to deliver a truly great visitor experience. A background in customer service, retail and/or food service is ideal for these roles. You must be available to work weekends on a rostered basis.

Applications close at 5pm on Wednesday, 7 August 2013.
For further information, contact information@historic.org.nz.

Thames School of Mines 

Thames School of Mines are looking for casual Visitor Hosts. If you are interested and would like more information, contact information@historic.org.nz.

Applications close at 5pm on Tuesday, 6 August 2013.

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War Memorial recognised for outstanding significance

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A Taranaki war memorial forged in colonial attitudes and battered by political activism has been recognised for its outstanding significance by the NZHPT.

The New Zealand Wars Memorial on New Plymouth’s Marsland Hill/Pukaka has been confirmed as a Category 1 Historic Place by the NZHPT, in recognition of its significant heritage value to New Zealand as a monument to events that continue to shape the nation.

“Today the New Zealand Wars Memorial can be seen as a stark reminder of the events that shaped New Zealand, and as a symbol of their ongoing historical, cultural and social legacy,” says NZHPT Heritage Adviser Blyss Wagstaff.

Erected in 1909 as a monument dedicated to the ‘Colonial Forces’ and ‘Loyal Maoris’ (referring to Maori who fought on the side of the Crown) who died during the New Zealand Wars, the NZHPT says the memorial’s significance is enhanced further by its location in Taranaki, where the prolonged hostilities of 1860-1872 began, and lasted the longest.

“In more recent years the Memorial has been the target of protest actions for Maori rights, with one protest in the 1990s destroying the statue of a colonial soldier that had been on top. The empty pedestal is now a visible reminder of the need for a more balanced perspective to the story of early New Zealand,” says Blyss.

The Memorial’s location on Marsland Hill/Pukaka, on a former pa that was the site of the regimental barracks and a refuge for the townspeople, gives it direct relevance to its subject matter. 

“Notable for its instigation by a committee of veterans of the battles, it is also a rare and early example of a monument with a national scope, rather than local or regional relevance,” says Blyss.

Following a public subscription drive the monument was unveiled with great ceremony, including a parade of troops, by then New Zealand Governor, Lord Plunket, on 7 May 1909. 

Designed by prominent Taranaki architect Frank Messenger, it featured a statue of a trooper on top of a classically-ornamented plinth of sculpted marble and stone.

“Few monuments to the New Zealand Wars were constructed in the immediate aftermath of the hostilities as the idea of a memorial to commemorate the ordinary soldier was a relatively new concept at the time. But as veterans got older, there was more urgency to pay tribute,” Blyss says.

Added was a growing interest in the history of New Zealand’s pioneers and an emerging national and imperial identity, in part fuelled by the recent (1899-1902) South African (Boer) War.

Blyss says the site continues to be a focus for the strong emotions evoked by the conflicts and their aftermath.

During the 1990s two incidents of Maori political activism on separate Waitangi Days seriously affected the structure and signify its significance as a site representative of the serious and ongoing consequences of the conflicts.

The monument is publicly-owned and is listed as a Category A heritage item in the District Plan, showing further evidence of its value to the community.

“The colonial attitudes it enshrines, and the resultant Maori activism towards the monument, have great potential to encourage discussion and debate about Maori grievances and race relations in New Zealand society”.

Ponsonby Baptist complex registered

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The heritage values of a cluster of well-known character buildings in Ponsonby have been recognised by the NZHPT.

The Ponsonby Baptist Church complex has been registered as a Category 1 historic place.

“Most people will probably recognise the impressive main Baptist church building, with its classical and Italianate architectural influences, on the corner of Jervois Road and Seymour Street – but it’s not actually the original church building,” says NZHPT Heritage Adviser Registration, Martin Jones.

“The first Baptist Church on the site was the chapel building, which was moved to the back of the property when an adjoining section was purchased, making room for its replacement. The original building dates back to 1875 and is believed to be the earliest purpose-built Baptist chapel and Sunday School to survive in Auckland.”

The later Sunday School hall was subsequently added to the same site in 1905.

“What we have is a complex of three historic buildings – all of which are included in the registration,” he says.

The church complex reflects solid growth in numbers experienced by the congregation from the time the original church opened in the mid-1870s.

“Awareness of social justice issues was no doubt reinforced by one of the earliest Baptist overseers in Auckland, Rev. Philip Henry Cornford, who had worked among newly emancipated slaves in Jamaica prior to coming to New Zealand,” says Martin.

“His experience reflected the involvement of many British Baptists in campaigns against the slave trade and slavery.”

The thriving Church community mirrored the growth in the number of people living in Ponsonby, which totalled 1,640 in 1874. That number had doubled by 1881 – and had doubled again by 1886.

In 1885, a combination of large attendances at Sunday evening services and poor ventilation led the church to hire the nearby Ponsonby Hall for evening services, and for morning services as well later in the year.

A new facility was clearly needed, and in 1886 the foundation stone for the new church building was laid.

The neoclassical style of architecture chosen for the building made good sense for non-conformist denominations like the Baptists.

“Apart from the impressive front elevation, the rest of the church building is quite simple architecturally – though very functional,” says Martin.

“A floor sloping to the front of the church combined with a raised rostrum for the speaker, for example, meant people could see the preacher easily and hear what he was saying – particularly important as the sermon was regarded as the most important part of the service.”

Other features within the church are also important, reflecting different aspects of its history as well as wider social history.

“The main auditorium still has its original pews complete with individual numbering, harking back to 19th Century years when pew rents were collected – a practice that was eventually discontinued in 1909,” he says.

“A roll of honour also records the names of 42 members of the congregation who fought and died on European battlefields during the First World War.”

One of the treasures of the church is a rare John Avery organ – believed to date back to 1779, and regarded by the New Zealand Organ Preservation Trust as having international significance as the oldest organ to survive in Australasia remaining in a form close to the original.

“The Ponsonby Baptist Church complex is an important part of the built heritage of the community, and the registration formally acknowledges that significance,” says Martin.

“It also acknowledges the social history of the church and the important part the church has played – and continues to play – in the life of the wider Ponsonby community.”

Photo: The main Ponsonby Baptist Church building.

Renewed focus on Cuba Street

Main Content Inline SmallVictoria University of Wellington School of Architecture has re-launched a 12 week integrated course for 4th year architectural and design students focusing on the design, heritage and seismic retrofitting needs of buildings in the Cuba Street historic area.

The School of Architecture is again working with NZHPT and Wellington City Council on this project to look at creative ways that heritage architectural fabric and values can be maintained, integrated, adapted and extended in the retrofit of buildings and to bring forward potential solutions for buildings which have seismic risk.

The course, which commenced last month, has external structural engineers and architectural lecturers and tutors working with the students including staff from NZHPT and Wellington City Council. The students will be meeting with Cuba Street property owners and to have access to plans to assist with strengthening and adaptive re-use options.

“If we want to retain our heritage places for the future we need to work collaboratively with property owners, engineers, architects, council and others to find creative solutions to strengthen these buildings,” says NZHPT Central Region General Manager Ann Neill.

“Wellington is small, smart and connected. The core ingredients are there for us to preserve and to build on. This is true of Cuba Street, where small businesses and residential with modest rents have long merged to create a quirky, dynamic microcosm of Wellington and a signature shopping destination."  

Mark Southcombe, Architecture Programme Director at the Victoria School of Architecture, said students will be encouraged to embrace new technologies and provide solutions in different structural materials. He says the standard of seismic strengthening will be to 100% of new building standard. 

“The course also provides the opportunity to look at the upgrade of clusters of buildings and meeting property owners is a key issue in using creative and realistic design skills”.

The students will be reviewing their projects with owners, the Council and the NZHPT, and full digital models will be available at the end of the course.

Te Waimate Mission roof well underway

Main Content Inline SmallProgress is well underway on the reshingling of Te Waimate Mission, New Zealand’s second oldest building.

Henwood Builders of Kaikohe, who re-shingled the Stone Store in 2011, are making great progress according to the Manager of Te Waimate Mission, Mita Harris.

“The mission house is looking amazing. The iron roof has come off, and the workmen are doing a great job installing the cedar shingles on the roof,” he says.

“As well as the shingling itself, the builders are also doing a great job shaping the flashing around window joints and other areas so there are no joins or nail holes that could potentially let water in. The result should be a completely water-tight building.”

Once completed, the new shingles will recapture some of the building’s distinctive character and charm.

“We’re on track to open again in early September, and we’re looking forward to showing off this wonderful building – complete with new roof – in time for summer.”

Photo: Reshingling work well underway at Te Waimate Mission.

International recogniiton for Olveston

Main Content Inline SmallSome of New Zealand’s heritage gems – including Dunedin's Olveston and Wellington’s Old St Paul’s have been named among New Zealand's top 10 landmarks in the Trip Adviser 2013 Traveller's Choice Awards.

Compiled by the international website from the recommendations of millions of travellers worldwide, the awards ranked the Category 1 Olveston as fourth overall.

The awards are divided into a range of categories, including ''best'' hotels, restaurants and attractions, which include landmarks, museums, parks and amusement parks.

The Olveston experience was valued by visitors for its authentic collection of art, antiques and domestic items owned by the Theomin family, who gifted the house to Dunedin city in 1966.

NZHPT Otago/Southland Area Manager Owen Graham says NZHPT staff recently toured the house and were impressed by its collection and intimate look, as well as hearing stories of the lives of the Theomin family. 

“Nothing has been added to the extensive collection of art and domestic items since it was gifted to Dunedin. This gives visitors a very realistic taste of what life was like for the occupants of this beautiful early 20th century home,” says Owen.

Photo courtesy of Olveston Historic House & Collection

Historic listing for rare phone box

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The Christchurch Wizard once campaigned to save them, and now the NZHPT has recognised the heritage significance of one of New Zealand’s iconic red telephone boxes with a Category 2 historic place registration.

The telephone box at Post Office Square in Wellington is thought to be one of only two examples of a ‘K2’ (Kiosk 2) or ‘London-style’ style telephone box still in use in New Zealand. Designed by British architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, and manufactured from 1926 to about 1936, the cast iron structures were expensive to produce (£35), and by 1934 only 1700 had been made.

“With the spread of mobile phones, public telephone use is in rapid decline and the once common site of the red telephone box on New Zealand’s streets has become a rarity,” says NZHPT researcher Vivienne Morrell.

There are now only about 50 red telephone boxes in functional use throughout the country, with only two of these thought to be of K2 style.

The Post Office Square telephone box was originally located on Karori Road, but was moved to its current location, and restored, in 1991. Its rarity, aesthetic design and role in New Zealand’s social history has seen it listed as a Category 2 Historic Place.

Telephone boxes have been in use in New Zealand since around the 1910s. By 1930, 679 ‘Public Call Offices’ (as they were then called) were in operation in the country. The first K2s were produced in 1926, and most were erected in London, however, some were imported into New Zealand and elsewhere.

Telecom’s decision to repaint the red boxes a pale blue colour in 1988 caused a protest by Christchurch’s Wizard and Alf’s Imperial Army, who repainted some of them red. While Telecom admitted defeat over repainting, most of the old red boxes were soon replaced with new ones. With increasing use of mobile phones, public telephones are declining in usage.

Vivienne says the Post Office Square box has most of the characteristics of the K2 design, including the red paint and green dome.

“However it no longer has glass ‘public telephone’ signs above the walls and its current door is not a K2 design.”

“It was well used in its heyday, but today averages 2.5 calls per day – just enough to meet costs for Telecom, who have no plans to remove it.”

Ms Morrell says the old red telephone boxes have high nostalgia value for many people.

“The fad of how many people can fit inside a telephone box has been popular at various times. Now that the red telephone box is becoming rare they are achieving a kind of ‘iconic’ status.”

There is only one other telephone box on the NZHPT Register – registered as part of the Rotorua Government Gardens Historic Area.

Nothing sheepish about these residents

Main Content Inline SmallThe fields are alive with the sound of bleating at Te Waimate – with a flock of Pitt Island sheep now at home in one of the Mission’s neighbouring paddocks.

The dozen Pitt Island sheep – otherwise known as Spanish or Saxony merino sheep – are descendants of the animals imported into New Zealand by Samuel Marsden between 1814 and 1837.

“The sheep at Te Waimate are pretty special – particularly given their connection to Samuel Marsden. It’s great to think that their forebears were part of the landscape here at the height of the Mission in the 1830s and 40s,” says Mita.

The sheep in the old days, though, were a little different from today’s bunch in one respect.

“Originally the entire flock was white, and in the 1940s a black sheep was a rarity. During the 1960s, however, half the Pitt Island flock was black. Today all our sheep are black.”

Besides their placid and friendly nature – the perfect petting zoo animal – the breed are also known for being able to lamb more than once a year, with many producing twins. They also self-shed their wool and are not prone to foot rot or other infectious diseases, making them very low maintenance.

“We know our sheep are going to be a big hit with families visiting Te Waimate,” says Mita.

“Not only do they bring alive the agricultural nature of Te Waimate’s history, they’re also a lot of fun.”

The sheep derive their name from a flock that were established at Pitt Island in around 1840, with numbers growing to 300 shortly after. The flock was sold to the first European to settle Pitt – Frederick Hunt – who then used them to supply whaling ships, and sell the wool.

Photo: Mita Harris and one of the new residents at Te Waimate Mission.

Haggis a welcome addition to celebration

Main Content Inline SmallAlberton recently hosted two themed dinners – a Raj Dinner and a Motherland Revisited dinner – celebrating the Indian and English / Scottish heritage of the Kerr Taylor family, original inhabitants of the Mt Albert mansion.

The dinners were part of a programme of events celebrating Alberton’s 150th anniversary, and both were sold out.

“For the Motherland Revisited dinner we decided to pull out all the stops and include haggis on the menu – courtesy of Grant Allen of Gourmet a Go Go, whose company took on the job of ‘pop-up restaurateurs’ for the two dinners,” says the Manager of Alberton, Rendell McIntosh.

Alberton’s 150th celebrations continue with two events coming up – a formal ball on 31 August, followed by another ball a couple of weeks after on 14 September.

“The balls replicate the time when dancing was held in the now demolished Alberton Barn - when over 250 people danced in the first County or Riding Ball held in New Zealand on 20 September, 1877,” says Rendell.

The programme will include Victorian and Ceilidh dances with music from the Rose and Thistle Band. Participants are encouraged to dress up in their finery and Victorian outfits, though numbers are limited to 30. Cost $30 per person, includes supper (sorry no concessions). Bookings essential – email alberton@historic.org.nz or phone (09) 846 7367. (Please indicate which night you would prefer to attend.)

Photo: Rendell McIntosh (left) with Grant Allen – and haggis.

Day of Archaeology

Main Content Inline SmallIn acknowledgment of the Day of Archaeology 2013, Assistant Archaeologist Amy Findlater (from the NZHPT's Southern Regional Office) contributed to the online site with a blog entitled Archaeology in the Red-Zone: post earthquake management in Christchurch, Canterbury, NZ where she discusses heritage management after a natural disaster. 

You can view the blog and others from around the world here.

Photo: Amy at work.

NZHPT National Office
Antrim House, 63 Boulcott Street, Wellington 6011
P O Box 2629, Wellington 6140
tel: + 64 4 472 4341