Rangiora Post Office

Location: Corner of High and Percival Streets, Rangiora

This post office building was opened by the Right Honourable George Forbes, the local Member of Parliament for Hurunui (which included Rangiora), on 1 September 1936.

It was the third post office built on this site.

Built during the depression era at a time when very few public buildings were constructed, the design is relatively unusual given it had to house not only postal facilities but also the telephone exchange and the postmaster's residence (upstairs), hence its size.

A notable feature are the two Edward VIII insignias in the main entrance. These are rare because Edward VIII reigned from 20 January 1936 to 11 December 1936 (only 325 days). He abdicated in favour of his scandalous love for Mrs Simpson, an American divorcee.

There is only one other known such royal insignia on a former New Zealand post office, in Cambridge.

The building was constructed by Christchurch-based CS Luney & Co. which still exists today. Its founder, Charles Luney, in his 100th year, unveiled the Landmarks plaque for this building at a ceremony held on 5 July 2004. 

Early postal history
1857 – 1858  First mail to Rangiora was delivered to The Lion (replaced by the Red Lion), from Kaiapoi by cart.
Late 1858  First postal facilities in Rangiora at George Blacks general store (where the railway crossing now is). This store was later managed by John Wilson and probably part-owned. 
1865  Wilson closed down the store and the postal service was moved to Henry Blackett’s store, opposite the current post office. 
May 1873  Telegraph office set up in Blackett’s store where the post office already was. 
October 1873 First post and telegraph office opened just west of the present corner site. (This building can now be seen as a residence at 132A King Street, Rangiora.) Telegraphist George Buckham became the first full-time postmaster. 
22 December 1887 Second post office opened on the corner of Percival/High Streets, built by Boyd & Keir at a cost of £758. The clock on the turret was installed in 1892, the mechanics of which are now located at the Northbrook Museum.
1898 Telephone exchange and bureau opened at the post office. 
1906 -1907 The post office was enlarged 
1934 -1935 Second post office was levelled – foundation for new building 8 November 1935 by Prime Minister Forbes (member for Hurunui). 
  • Rangiora Post Office - then
  • Rangiora Post Office - now
  • Rangiora Post Office - plaque