Bank of New Zealand

Location: Corner Williams and Charles Streets, Kaiapoi

This imposing classical brick and stone building was built in 1883 as a banking chamber and manager’s residence. Occupying a prominent corner site, the BNZ proclaimed its status, stability and security with this fine, dignified building.

The BNZ was founded in 1861. The Kaiapoi branch opened in April 1862, the fourth in the Canterbury province, signifying Kaiapoi’s commercial business generated by the port.

Quite specific guidelines were probably given to Thomas Lambert, the highly regarded Scottish trained architect. His careful attention to detail ensured the production of a distinctive design. Strong contrasts of white stone against red brick emphasise the elaborate classical ornamentation of windows, doorways, string-course and eaves brackets. The entrance facing onto Charles Street is identified by the handsome pillared entrance and pediment.

The building is noteworthy as a particularly fine, well preserved example of 19th century bank design. The original boundary fence is topped by a decorative iron railing.

The bank took possession of its new premises in Kaiapoi on 26 October 1988. The building has since been used for offices, doctor’s rooms and was occupied by a Funeral Director until it closed after damage sustained in the 2010 Canterbury earthquake.

This building has a Historic Place Category I registration. It was given Landmarks status at a ceremony held on 15 May 2010.

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