County Council Building (Former)

102 Seddon Street, Raetihi

  • County Council Building (Former).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Greg Mason. Date: 8/06/2001.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7280 Date Entered 14th December 1995

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Ruapehu District

Region

Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Sec 106 Blk X Raetihi Township

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

This building is of local historical significance as memorial to the former Waimarino County Council.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Aesthetic:

This Stripped Classical building acts as a dominant landmark which adds character to Raetihi's main street

Architectural:

The former Waimarino County Council building, erected in 1923, is an example of inter-war Stripped Classical architecture (facade) and early functional modernism (rear and side elevations) in terms of the plain reinforced concrete construction of the building. The interior design of the place represents the application of an Arts & Crafts aesthetic to a public building.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Social/Cultural:

Local authority administration buildings were symbolic centres for their district, no matter how small and were highly regarded by their communities.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

The following comments are made in relation to the criteria identified under S.23(2) of the Historic Places Act 1993.

a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

This building was built to replace the former Waimarino County Council offices, burned down during the disastrous fire of 18-19 March, 1918, together with one hundred and twenty houses and more than sixty commercial and industrial buildings.

c) The potential of the place to provide knowledge of New Zealand history:

The former County Council offices building is a memorial to a former local body administrative unit, the county council. Placed so close to the offices of the former Raetihi Borough Council, it is a reminder of the small size of New Zealand's local authorities and of the town/country split between boroughs and counties.

f) The potential of the place for public education:

This building is representative of the former County Council system and the previous territorial authority boundaries.

g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

The Waimarino County Council offices building was designed as a result of a competition held in 1918 for the purpose of replacing the old county offices burnt down in the fire of that year. Architect F.A. Carter won the competition but plans were abandoned due to high construction costs. The present building was built to a modified design of the County Engineer, Mr Hogg, but as he redesigned Mr Carter's original plans, some credit should be given to the former architect of the building.

The building is an example of inter-war Stripped Classical architecture. Classical features on the exterior facade of this building tend to override functional expression. The main facade is a classical false front whereas the real structure of the building is of reinforced concrete walls on the side and at the rear.

The interior of the building has clearly been sympathetically restored, and is of particular interest from an art history point of view. Arts and Crafts/simplified Art Noveau interior features include timber dados, doors, decorative architraves, pilasters, lead-light fan lights with geometric design and the curved bronze door handles.

Conclusion:

The former County council Building, 22 Seddon St, Raetihi, is recommended for registration as a Category II as a place of historical and cultural heritage significance and value. It is a typical example of a public building of this period and is architecturally significant in this small town's main street.

Linksopen/close

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1923 -

Information Sources

New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT)

New Zealand Historic Places Trust

Nomination Form

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central region office

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.