South British Insurance Building

326 Lambton Quay, Wellington

  • South British Insurance Building, Wellington.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Chris Horwell. Date: 22/11/2015.
  • South Britich Insurance Building, Wellington. CC Licence 4.0 Image courtesy of
    Copyright: Michal Klajban - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Michal Klajban. Date: 24/11/2014.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1430 Date Entered 10th September 1981 Date of Effect 10th September 1981


City/District Council

Wellington City


Wellington Region

Legal description

All Plan 1/2853 Pt Res 5 Town of Wellington


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Draffin, Malcolm Keith

Malcolm Draffin (1890-1964) was born in Auckland and educated at Auckland Grammar School. His architectural apprenticeship began in 1906 with J.W. Walker and in 1910 he joined Edward Bartley. He became a full partner in 1914 when the firm became known as Edward Bartley and Son and M.K. Draffin.

Draffin served with the NZ Field Engineers in World War I and following the war he travelled in Europe and attended the Architectural Association School in London.

On his return to New Zealand he became sole partner in the firm of Edward Bartley and Son and M.K. Draffin. In 1922 he became a partner with H.C. Grierson and K.W. Aimer when they jointly won the competition to design the Auckland War Memorial Museum. Their design subsequently won them the New Zealand Institute of Architects gold medal. The partnership was dissolved in 1932 and Draffin and his son later went into partnership as M.K. and R.F. Draffin. In 1960 this became M.K. and R.F. Draffin and Lawry. Draffin was president of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1951 and 1952.

Some of M.K. Draffin's best known work includes (with Grierson, Aimer and Draffin) the Auckland War Memorial Museum (1929), Parnell Public Library, Auckland (1923), Wellington Citizens War Memorial (1929), and the former South British Insurance Company building, Auckland (1927-28). On his own or in partnership with his son he designed the Northern Roller Mills, Auckland (1941-43), the Bank of New South Wales, Auckland, and additions to the War Memorial Museum.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1936 -

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.