Gasholder of 1879

Andersons Bay Road, Dunedin

  • Gasholder of 1879, Dunedin Gasworks.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Derek Smith. Date: 10/06/2002.
  • Gasholder of 1879, Dunedin Gasworks.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Derek Smith. Date: 10/06/2002.
  • Gasholder of 1879, Dunedin Gasworks. Image courtesy of
    Copyright: James Dignan. Taken By: James Dignan. Date: 3/05/2009.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4398 Date Entered 24th March 1988 Date of Effect 24th March 1988


City/District Council

Dunedin City


Otago Region

Legal description

Lot 6 DP 21969

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This is the oldest existing gasholder in the Dunedin Gasworks, which was the first gasworks in the country to produce gas, opening in 1863. Presumably there was once an even older gasholder. The works were owned initially by the Dunedin Gaslight and Coke Company, operating under its manager and engineer, Stephen Stamp Hutchinson. After agitation from the customers, the works were bought by the Dunedin City Corporation in 1876. Upgrading of the works was badly needed and a new gasholder was installed in 1881 according to contemporary records (even though the holder has 1879 engraved on it). Hutchinson did build a rival gasworks at Caversham and had a contract to supply Caversham, Mornington, Roslyn and Maori Hill. This contract expired in 1907 and the city took over the Caversham works which have now been demolished.

Architectural Significance:

The holder is part of the important Victorian industrial complex of the gasworks.

Townscape/Landmark Significance:

Though this is the smaller of the two gasholders on Andersons Bay Road, it is an important entity in the gasworks complex.


Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The names 'E Genever' and 'Horseley Co Ltd, Tipley, Staffordshire, England' are engraved alternately on all the uprights of the holder.

Significance of Architect/Engineer/ Designer:

E Genever was the manager of the gas works from 1876 to 1882 when he was dismissed under a cloud. He had been dismissed previously in 1878 but re-appointed after the post was advertised. He had, however, made enemies among the councillors. In July 1882 he was accused of letting tar run to waste, resulting in a summons for causing a nuisance, and of buying dross instead of good coal, with hints of graver misdemeanours. He was given three months notice in July 1882 but presented in November with 100 guineas subscribed by a 'number of gentlemen'. Somehow in the course of this fracas he ordered a gasholder with his name in bas relief lettering on alternate pillars, which must have angered his opponents.

Architectural Description (Style):

A simple industrial structure with lightly decorated metal castings.


Apparently none.

Notable Features

The age of the structure.

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1879 -

Construction Details

The gas bag is held up by round metal pillars set on square corniced and panelled bases. These in turn sit on low brick platforms. The pillars rise to lightly decorated square tops which support a ring of criss-cross lattice work to which the top of the bag is attached, The pillars are about 40 feet high and the bag sits in a basal ring of riveted plates about seven feet high. The holder is still in use.

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.