National Bank (Former)

State Highway 12 And Franklin Road, Paparoa

  • National Bank (Former). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: hellendor - (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Licence) . Taken By: hellendor . Date: 31/12/2010.
  • National Bank (Former). Image courtesy of
    Copyright: GPS 56 - (CC BY 2.0 Licence). Taken By: GPS 56. Date: 17/03/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3288 Date Entered 28th June 1990


City/District Council

Kaipara District


Northland Region

Legal description

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.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Hammond, Horace

Horace Hammond was born in London in 1862, and came to New Zealand in 1871. He received his professional training in Auckland under his father, W F Hammond. They later went into partnership as W F Hammond & Sons, Engineers, Architects and Surveyors. Hammond was a member of the Institute of Municipal and County Engineers, the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors and a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Architects. In 1889 Hammond was appointed County Engineer for Hobson County but retained the right of private practice. Resigning from his position with the County in 1915 he entered into private practice with the firm of Hammond, Spanhake and Hammond in Dargaville.

Buildings designed by Hammond include the Northern Wairoa Hospital and doctor's residence at Te Kopuru (1903), the Dargaville Club (1905), the Mangawhare Convent and School (1908), the Hobson County Chambers, Dargaville (1909), the National Banks at both Paparoa and Maungatoroto (1914) and the 'Wairoa Bell' Buildings, Dargaville (1916). He is also credited with building many of the residences in the district. During his 26 years as County Engineer, Hammond was responsible for designing many bridges and wharves foremost of which were the Tangiteroria Bridge over the Northern Wairoa River (1904, replaced in 1949), and the Dargaville Wharf (1908).

Heron, W.

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Notable Features

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.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1913 - 1914
Construction of National Bank, including detached laundry and stables

1988 -
Alterations, including removal of all banking furniture and fittings from banking chamber

1993 -
Internal modifications to banking chamber, manager's office and residential bedroom

2002 -
Internal modifications to main bedroom and hall of residence

Completion Date

20th June 2003

Report Written By

Martin Jones

Information Sources

Hammond, 1913

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)

Hawke, 1997

Gary Hawke, The Thoroughbred Among Banks in New Zealand: 1872-1947 The Early Years, Wellington, 1997

National Bank, 1914

Annual Reports on Bank Premises, O.L. and Buildings, and Bank Furniture, 31 March 1914, National Bank Archives, Wellington

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

Former National Bank, State Highway 12, Paparoa', Buildings Classification Committee report, Wellington, 1990 (held by NZHPT, Auckland)

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.