BNZ Kaiapoi - RW Design

Blog / BNZ Kaiapoi - RW Design

BNZ Kaiapoi - RW Design

Prior to the 2011 Christchurch earthquakes the former BNZ building was a well-preserved example of a substantial Commercial building with imposing classical features appropriate to a Bank of the 1880’s. The BNZ Heritage building was granted a Historic Place Category 1 registration on May 15 2010. 

Recently purchased from the Shivas Family, a group of Local Investors have taken over the enormous task of strengthening, repairing and restoring this historic building.  RW Design is proud to be chosen as one of the Consultants involved in this process and we look forward to watching this project progress.  

Source: Kaiapoi - A search for identity. (1941)

Source: Kaiapoi - A search for identity. (1941)

The building was typical of suburban banks of the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Michael Kelly and John Cattell have written of this building that “the use of contrasting materials and elaborate ornamentation creates a most pleasing effect” and that is “is a monument to the important role played by the Bank of New Zealand in the late nineteenth century”. This is one of three buildings that bear a first-class classification from the New Zealand Historic Places Trust in Kaiapoi. 

Its residential accommodation is the same as in other suburban banks of the time with five bedrooms (one being the servant’s) and a drawing room upstairs; dining, kitchen, scullery, and pantry on the ground floor behind the banking office

BNZ Pediment

BNZ Pediment

Bank of NZ, Banknotes 1861-1934 (R.H. Griffin)

Bank of NZ, Banknotes 1861-1934 (R.H. Griffin)

188 Williams Road

188 Williams Road

BNZ Kaiapoi: History

This fine building, which originally incorporated a manager’s residence is an imposing structure in Kaiapoi township. It was built in 1883 to a design by Thomas Lambert. The use of contrasting materials and elaborate ornamentation creates a most pleasing effect. Complete with its original fence this building is a monument to the important role played by the bank of New Zealand in the late nineteenth century.

The Pediment

The building was originally designed by Architect William Barnett Armson, who unfortunately died in 1883 prior to completion of the design. Thomas Lambert then took over to finish the design and construction. The chief feature of the facade is the pediment porch and contains a sculpture of Kiwis and tree ferns. Sculpture of any sort is rare on bank buildings and is probably considered too extravagant, but not presumably for the prosperous 1880’s in Canterbury with its meat and wool industries and its grain crops, some of which was processed at Kaiapoi passed through its port.

The Kiwis and Waka was a common well-known symbol for BNZ, who used the two symbols on their banknotes as early as 1870. Possibly one of the earliest uses of the Kiwi as a symbol. (At least in the European tradition).