Historic Place Category 1
DP 8228 Pt Allot 52 Parish of Paparoa
The former National Bank at Paparoa is a well-preserved example of an early twentieth-century timber bank in northern New Zealand. Erected on a prominent corner site in the rural township in 1914, the single-storey structure replaced earlier premises occupied by the National Bank, which had been located in a converted cheese factory. Construction of the new building was part of a strategic change by the institution to move from leased accommodation to purpose-built structures. The British-owned company came to Paparoa in 1907 during a period of prosperity, when its branch numbers increased countrywide from 27 in 1893 to approximately 40 by 1913. It enjoyed a dominant financial role in Northland, and established itself in Paparoa in the belief that the settlement would expand as a communications, trading and administrative centre. The township was located about 7 kilometres from the junction of the Bay of Islands and Northern Wairoa railway lines - which reached Paparoa Station in September 1914 - and was linked by road and river to Pahi, a focus of water-based trade on the Kaipara Harbour. Although rapid growth failed to materialise, the bank financed the development of agricultural production in the area as the extractive industries of timber-felling and gum-digging declined. The branch lay at the centre of a local financial network, operating agencies at nearby Maungatutaro (from 1906), Ruwai (from 1920) and Waipu.
Constructed of heart kauri and totara, the bank was designed by the Dargaville architect and Hobson County Engineer, Horace Hammond, and was probably built by W. Heron (or Herron). Its neo-Classical style promoted the ideas of stability and authority traditionally required by banks, while an appearance of permanence was further enhanced through the use of simulated stone cladding. The building incorporated some Art Nouveau elements, which additionally conveyed early twentieth-century notions of progress and prosperity. In function, the structure incorporated both trading and residential quarters, with a banking chamber and manager's office to the front and an elegant residence to the rear. This arrangement provided greater security for the bank, and living quarters as well as prestige for the manager. Outbuildings, including a detached laundry and a stable block were provided, with the manager regularly transporting money on horseback to and from nearby agencies until 1926. Relatively intact until the National Bank withdrew its services in the 1980s, the interior of the structure has since been modified on several occasions. It was briefly used for a variety of retail functions before being converted into a restaurant in 1993, and currently remains in use for this purpose (2003).
The former National Bank at Paparoa is a significant example of a purpose-built rural bank of early twentieth century date. Its external appearance is unusually intact for a timber structure of this type. The building demonstrates the dominant role of the National Bank in Northland and the company's contribution to economic development in the region. It is linked to British-controlled financial institutions, whose activities were an important feature of the British Empire, including New Zealand. The bank reflects economic prosperity before the First World War (1914-1918), and the establishment of a more permanent economic infrastructure in rural areas in the North. It is associated with a change from extractive to agricultural industries in the Kaipara region. The building demonstrates the expansion of banking networks in the early twentieth century, and the move towards purpose-built banks in Northland. The structure reflects the close relationship between home and work in the early twentieth century, and the status of the bank manager in rural society. Prominently sited, the building performed an important service to the community for over 70 years and is a local landmark. The site incorporates outbuildings that reflect significant aspects of early twentieth-century life, such as horse transport.
Registration covers the building, its fixtures and finishes, including recent modifications. It is closely associated with contemporary, early twentieth-century outbuildings, including stables and a laundry.
- Original Construction: 1913 (circa) - 1914 (circa)
- Modification: 1988 (circa)
- Modification: 1993 (circa)
- Modification: 2002 (circa)
- Hammond and Co., 'Plan of Bank and Residence at Paparoa for the National Bank of New Zealand Ltd', 26 February 1913, National Bank Archives, Wellington (copy held by NZHPT, Auckland)
- Gary Hawke, The Thoroughbred Among Banks in New Zealand: 1872-1947 The Early Years, Wellington, 1997
- Annual Reports on Bank Premises, O.L. and Buildings, and Bank Furniture, 31 March 1914, National Bank Archives, Wellington
- New Zealand Historic Places Trust,Former National Bank, State Highway 12, Paparoa', Buildings Classification Committee report, Wellington, 1990 (held by NZHPT, Auckland)
Report Written By
this page is correct to the best of the Trust's knowledge. If you have any additional
information you would like to share with the Trust, please
contact the Registrar.
You may wish to contact the Trust to view our paper records.