Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former)

10 Hamilton Street, Hokitika

  • Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former).
    Copyright: Maria Martin-Smith. Taken By: Maria Martin-Smith. Date: 16/02/2009.
  • Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former).
    Copyright: Maria Martin-Smith. Taken By: Maria Martin-Smith. Date: 16/02/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5051 Date Entered 21st September 1989


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Part Secs 3176, 3177, 3702 Town of Hokitika (CT WS5C/327), Westland Land District and the building known as the Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former) thereon.

City/District Council

Westland District


West Coast Region

Legal description

Part Secs 3176, 3177, 3702 Town of Hokitika (CT WS5C/327), Westland Land District


The Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former) was built in 1926-7 to replace an earlier bank building on this site and tells the story of the savings bank movement and the integral role that banks played from the very early days of the town’s establishment in the 1860s.

The Hokitika Savings Bank began operation in November 1866 in old court house premises on the camp reserve in Revell Street, Hokitika. This was a bustling time in the new gold rush town and the establishment of the Westland Savings Bank followed on the heels of three trading banks – Union Bank, Bank of New South Wales and Bank of New Zealand – which were in Hokitika by late 1865. Touted as a ‘preventative to squandering’, the Hokitika Savings Bank was part of the savings bank movement which began in New Zealand in the late 1840s under special banking legislation that followed an English model. Separate from trading banks, the savings bank model involved a board of trustees being responsible for the banking deposits and operated for the good of its users, with some of the surplus going back into the local community. By 1880 the Hokitika Savings Bank had shifted from its early temporary premises to a new ‘wood and iron building’ on Hamilton Street which was shared with a solicitors office. The bank operated under a board of trustees, made up of notable citizens. By 1926 it was decided to build new premises. The President of the bank at this time was Henry Leslie Michel, who had been the Mayor of Hokitika between 1896-1903. The new Hokitika Savings Bank building, incorporating the office for solicitor Albert Richard Elcock, opened for business in January 1927.

The Hokitika Savings Bank Building (Former) is situated on the north side of Hamilton Street and beside a service lane, Perry Lane. The south and west elevations form the main facades and an angled recess at their juncture is the primary entrance. A smaller entrance is on the south façade, flanked by mullion and transom casement windows. The mansard roof is covered with corrugated steel. The building is plastered over brick and incorporates simple classical pilasters, and dentils below the cornice. A winged logo sits above the corner entrance door.

When the Hokitika Savings Bank shifted its offices to Revell Street in 1964, the legal firm of Elcock and Johnston purchased the building and continues to occupy it in 2015. The building was upgraded in 1980 including the addition of a second storey set in the original mansard roof.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

1880 -
Earlier Hokitika Savings Bank building constructed on this site

Original Construction
1927 -

1980 -
Upgrade including addition of second storey

Completion Date

8th April 2015

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

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 Southern Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand