North East Valley Post Office (Former)

282 North Road And Calder Avenue, North East Valley, Dunedin

  • North East Valley Post Office (Former).
    Copyright: Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Ben Hill. Date: 14/08/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2199 Date Entered 2nd July 1982

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

The extent includes the land described as Lots 1-2 DP 171 (CT OT12C/17), Otago Land District, and the building known as North East Valley Post Office (Former) and its associated outbuildings, thereon.

City/District Council

Dunedin City

Region

Otago Region

Legal description

Lots 1-2 DP 171 (CT OT12C/17), Otago Land District

Summaryopen/close

The former North East Valley Post Office, opened in 1914, served its suburban Dunedin community for seventy-four years before closing in 1988. The post office has historical, architectural and social significance, showing the importance of postal services in the community and the architecture of the Public Works Department. The building remains a landmark for the North East Valley community.

North East Valley, a small borough on the main northern route out of Dunedin, grew out of early farming and industry in the 1850s. By the end of the nineteenth century, the community had developed into a mix of agriculture, industry and residences. As the community grew, so did services. The first post office opened in 1875, and had a wandering existence until this building was constructed in 1914. In 1908, the North East Valley Borough Council donated the land on which the building was to be erected. The first proposal was for a wooden building, but the local Member of Parliament, G.M. Thomson, argued for brick and in 1909, £1,000 was voted in the Public Works Estimates.

The two storey brick building, with offices on the ground floor and residence on the first, was designed by the Government Architect’s office. The Postmaster-General, the Hon. R.H. Rhodes, opened the North East Valley Post office in April 1914. The Otago Daily Times described the new building: ‘[i]t is of brick, and is two storeys high. It is a combined office and postmistress’s residence. The office portion, which is confined to the ground floor, comprises a vestibule … , a public office … , a telephone bureau room … , a mail room … , a telephone room … , and a private box lobby … . The residence, which is confined to the upper floor, comprises a sitting room, … ; two bedrooms … and … a kitchen, … ; a scullery, and a bathroom. A washhouse, and the usual conveniences for office and residence are provided in an outbuilding.’ A.T. Anderson and Son were the contractors, at a price of £1,376. The office served over 5,000 people.

Through most of the twentieth century, the post office served the upper North East Valley community. In 1936, another post office was opened at the Garden’s corner, replaced in 1957 by a newer building. As postal services in New Zealand were consolidated in the 1980s, many small post offices closed. The North East Valley Post Office closed on 5 February 1988. Since then, the building has been home to a number of businesses trading off the proximity of the building to Baldwin Street, the world’s steepest street, one block further up North Road. The upstairs flat has provided residential accommodation. In 2014, the former post office stands vacant awaiting a new occupant.

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Construction Professionalsopen/close

Government Architect's Office

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

A.T. Anderson and Sons

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1914 -

Completion Date

1st April 2014

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Hendry, 1976

Hendry, Carole, Ferguslei to Hawthorne: The story of the development of North East Valley, [Carole Hendry], Dunedin, 1976.

Other Information

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand.

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.