Maungaturoto will be celebrating 150 Years in 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Maungaturoto's Heritage Buildings

The second National Bank of NZ Maungaturoto Branch circa 1940
Architects Mitchell & Mitchell

With Maungaturoto turning 150 years old this year, a lot of research has been going in around the area by many willing people into Maungaturoto's past. A look at Kaipara District Council's current Heritage Schedule for the Annual District Plan has me concerned that there are many heritage buildings being left off the list. Maungaturoto in the past has been very lean on the heritage buildings being noted. Much of their history has been lost to time. Thankfully there's been further additions to the schedule, including the very iconic Maungaturoto Hotel.

Tender Notice Auckland Star, 2 January 1937, Page 17

 I was talking with a friend today in Maungaturoto, while I was photographing some of the work that has been done by the Maungaturoto Beautification Project volunteers, on the new gardens and steps in the township. My friend asked me if I knew when the former Maungaturoto Post Office (not photographed) had opened. To me it looked around 1930 or so. After a short bit of brief detective work thanks to Papers Past I have a date for what is now Coast to Coast Healthcare on the corner. This building was officially opened on 19 July 1937 (Auckland Star, 2 July 1937, Page 6). Present at the ceremony were MP for Kaipara the Right Honorable J. G Coates and the MP for Marsden J. G Barclay who opened the new post office. Barclay announced at the opening ceremony that the road between the Maungaturoto Co-operative Dairy Company out to the Maungaturoto Railway Station was to be tar sealed almost immediately, and with weather permitting would be completed by the end of the same year. (Auckland Star, 21 July 1937, Page 18).  I have serious concerns about the previous post office which is in rather poor condition. That particular building dates back from the 1914 period. It seems sadly doomed to be totally ignored. Its more fortunate neighbour dating from the same year is the former National Bank of NZ building which thankfully has been well taken care of, and its heritage characteristics maintained.

Maungaturoto Hotel circa 1902

We have of course the iconic Maungaturoto Hotel, which made national headlines over the granting of the licence to Maragret Sarah in June or so of 1902. The hotel's original owner Moss Davis was no stranger to controversy, an earlier application for the Opanake Hotel (now Kaihu Tavern) had also drawn the ire of the Temperance movement. In looking at the Maungaturoto Hotel, there is a strong and close association to the former Pahi Hotel (circa 1897) in the architectural design. The Pahi Hotel was designed by prominent Auckland based architect John Currie (c1859-1921). Currie designed a number of buildings for Moss Davis' Hancock & Co Brewery (also Captain Cook Brewery). Northland has a number of Currie designed buildings. At the the time of writing I'm still looking for any tenders for the erection of the Maungaturoto building. We do know that it was built at the yard of the well known Johnny Rowe, who owned a building company in Onehunga, and the builders had come from Auckland, it's possible no tender notices were ever issued  for this particular building. More to look into. I strongly suspect the Maungaturoto Hotel is also a John Currie design based on the Pahi Hotel plans.

Gittos Church, Tanoa circa 1874

The Gittos Church (above) was opened in March of 1874 and was designed by W. J Symonds. This building is sited on a place of  importance in the Kaipara's cultural history. The building is listed on the Register of Historic Places as a Category II Historic Place.

1 comment:

  1. I adore the simplicity of some of the buildings in NZ. This one is just gorgeous.