Post Office (Former)

61 Main Road, Havelock

  • Post Office.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 240 Date Entered 1st September 1983


City/District Council

Marlborough District


Marlborough Region

Legal description

Sec 1 SO 6782 (CT MB4C/1134), Marlborough Land District


This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. The following text is the original citation considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The Havelock Post Office was completed in 1876, replacing an earlier structure located at Post Office Point. It was designed by W H Clayton, Colonial Architect between 1869 and 1877, the first and only person to enjoy that title.

The Colonial Architect's office came under the newly created Public Works Department in 1873. With greater resources available to him a stream of plans for post offices and courthouses flowed from Clayton's office between 1874 and 1877, the year of his death. The Havelock Post Office is one of the best remaining examples of the smaller post offices produced at that time.

It is built of Kauri and features a steeply pitched gabled roof, originally shingled, and projecting gable ends supported by elegantly rendered brackets. The street fa├žade features a gabled porch at each end symmetrically arranged around the more prominent, richly decorated central gable with its large window.

In its appearance, the Post Office is an important and integral part of Havelock's main street and relates well to the old building adjoining it. Along with its considerable architectural merit, the Havelock Post Office has served the needs of the local community for over one hundred years and is therefore of very considerable historical significance.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Clayton, William Henry

Born in Tasmania, Clayton (1823-1877) travelled to Europe with his family in 1842. He studied architecture in Brussells and was then articled to Sir John Rennie, engineer to the Admiralty, in London. He returned to Tasmania in 1848 and worked in private practice until he was appointed Government Surveyor in 1852.

He resumed private practice in 1855 and was involved with surveying in the Launceston area. In 1857 he was elected an alderman on the Launceston Municipal Council. By the time Clayton immigrated to Dunedin in 1863 he had been responsible for the design of many buildings including churches, banks, a mechanics' institute, a theatre, steam and water mills, breweries, bridges, mansions and villas, in addition to being a land surveyor and road engineer.

In 1864 he entered partnership with William Mason. Mason and Clayton were responsible for some important buildings in Dunedin including All Saints Church (1865) and The Exchange (former Post Office) (1865) as well as the Colonial Museum, Wellington (1865). These were two of the most prominent architects of their day in New Zealand.

In 1869 Clayton became the first and only Colonial Architect and was responsible for the design of Post and Telegraph offices, courthouses, customhouses, Government department offices and ministerial residences. His acknowledged masterpiece is Government Buildings, Wellington (1876) a stone-simulated wooden building and the largest timber framed building in the Southern Hemisphere.

Clayton was a prolific and highly accomplished architect both within the Public Service and in private practice, in New Zealand and Australia.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1876 -

Other Information

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.