Pumping Station (Former)

805 Great North Road, Museum Of Transport And Technology, Western Springs, Auckland

  • Pumping Station (Former), Museum of Transport and Technology, Auckland.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Able to Visit
List Number 114 Date Entered 2nd July 1987


City/District Council

Auckland Council (Auckland City Council)


Auckland Council

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 88398 (CT NA45D/561), North Auckland Land District

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The Western Springs waterworks, of which the pump station is a remnant, was constructed for the Auckland City Council on land formerly owned by the flour-milling firm of Low and Motion. The contract was let in 1875 to T and S Morrin and the pumphouse opened on 10 July 1877. Until 1902, when reticulation began from the Waitakere Ranges, water pumped by the stream-driven beam engine housed in the building provided the public supply for Auckland city and several adjacent local authorities, The pumphouse is therefore a structure of considerable regional historical importance.


The pumphouse is one of the most impressive examples of Victorian industrial architecture in New Zealand. The building comprises some very fine brick and stone detailing which contributes to the building's fine texture. The interior of the building is especially impressive with its simplified Doric columns and beams. The pumping machinery is the finest in New Zealand still intact. Its most notable features are the large beam engine and cast-iron flywheel (6.2 metres in diameter).


The pumphouse forms the centrepiece at the Museum of Transport and Technology (MOTAT) and although somewhat boxed in by surrounding museum structures it remains visually, a very impressive structure.


All the internal machinery and construction details, and on the exterior, high quality brick and stonework.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Errington, William

William Errington was a distinguished engineer who designed the Big Pump at Thames in 1871 and the Calliope Dock at Devonport Naval Base in 1888, the largest graving dock in the southern hemisphere.

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The building consists of a square two-storeyed block with a single storey wing attached. The two storey block has rusticated quoins, round-arched windows and cornice. Large archways are the main feature of the single storey section.


The building is in largely original condition.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1875 -

Construction Details

Brick, with cast iron columns and timber panelled ceiling in the interior.

Information Sources

Thornton, 1982

Geoffrey G. Thornton, New Zealand's Industrial Heritage, A.H. & A.W. Reed, Wellington, 1982

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.