97 Ness Street, Invercargill

  • Cottage, 97 Ness St, Invercargill.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 29/09/2013.
  • Cottage, Cottage, 97 Ness St, Invercargill.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 29/09/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 2491 Date Entered 24th November 1983


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 4 DP 395808 (CT 382432), Southland Land District, and the cottage thereon.

City/District Council

Invercargill City


Southland Region

Legal description

Lot 4 DP 395808 (CT 382432), Southland Land District


This cottage, probably built between 1905 and 1915 by contractor Andrew Bain as a rental property, has historical and architectural significance as a representative example of an early twentieth century worker’s cottage.

The land on which this cottage is built was part of a leasehold block of land owned by the Invercargill Borough Council. When Section 12 was first offered for lease in October 1901, it was unimproved. In 1901 builder Andrew Bain took up the lease. The lease remained in the Bain family until 1957. The cottage may have been built by Bain shortly after he took up the lease along with cottages on the adjoining section (Section 11) that he also owned. The cottage at 97 Ness Street is the only remaining of a group of worker’s cottages built on Ness Street in the early years of the twentieth century. The cottage is F-shaped in plan with a single gable symmetrical façade facing Ness Street transected by two parallel gabled sections at the rear. Built of timber and clad in weatherboard it is a typical cottage.

Bain did not live in the cottage himself, so it appears to have been rented out. Street directories indicate that the address 97 Ness Street was not allocated until 1916, and that Rous Mabson lived at that address. Mabson was a building contractor and he first appears on Ness Street in 1912. In 1908, there were four households living on Ness Street between Tweed and Teviot Streets. In 1911, there were five households, so it is possible that the cottage was built between 1908 and 1911.

A real estate advertisement from 1920 provides some additional clues: agent W.A. Ott offers for sale Bain’s properties on Ness Street – three ‘excellent dwellings’ on the corner of Tweed and Ness Streets (one of six rooms, the others four rooms), and also three dwellings adjoining the others on the corner of Teviot and Ness Streets - the corner house having six rooms, and the other two houses, four rooms. This makes it likely that Bain did built the houses as rental properties. In 2018, the cottage remains a private residence.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Bain, Andrew

Andrew Bain (c.1856-1939) was a well-known Invercargill building contractor. Born in Glasgow, he landed in Bluff in 1877. He was a member of the Bluff Harbour Board, served two terms as Invercargill’s mayor, and was a member of the Council for twenty years. He was a member of the New Zealand Federated Builders and Contractors Association.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Completion Date

11th April 2018

Report Written By

Heather Bauchop

Information Sources

Salmond, Jeremy, 1986

Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Reed Methuen, Auckland, 1986

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Otago Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand