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Browse the 1966 Encyclopaedia of New Zealand
Graphic: An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand 1966.


This information was published in 1966 in An Encyclopaedia of New Zealand, edited by A. H. McLintock. It has not been corrected and will not be updated.

Up-to-date information can be found elsewhere in Te Ara.



Other Centres

The older districts in other parts of the Dominion also have early buildings of historic interest, but unlike the Bay of Islands, are unable to present a comprehensive picture of early history due to their steady and progressive development, and their preoccupation with local progress. This is most marked in the larger cities which can rarely retain many old buildings on their original sites in the face of commercial and industrial expansion. A graphic example is Sir John Logan Campbell's cottage, which was removed from its original site in Shortland Street, Auckland, to One Tree Hill Domain, where it stands today looking rather lonely and forlorn.

Some buildings, more pretentious and important socially than the cottages of artisans, can continue to serve their original or related functions, notwithstanding changes in the city pattern. Public buildings, and particularly churches often survive for many years, because their purpose remains constant. But even in this case, their usefulness declines as places of worship when congregations move away, or are otherwise provided for. In Wellington, the beautiful and historic Cathedral Church of St. Paul was threatened with demolition on the completion of the new Cathedral. Nevertheless, when public opinion is stirred by fine architecture associated with historic events, protection and use can usually be achieved.

Most of the Dominion's public buildings of a permanent character belong to a later period of its history than that covered by this essay, but mention may be made of the old Provincial Council Chambers in Christchurch as an example of a building preserved for its architectural and historic interest long after its original function has ceased to exist; and in Auckland the lovely Bishop's Court, built by Bishop Selwyn, is protected as an “historic place” although it no longer serves its original purpose. In the smaller centres, such as New Plymouth, Wanganui, and Nelson, there are early buildings, mostly of local significance, and in the Otago province the preservation of Arrowtown illustrates the gold mining period which has national as well as local historic importance.

At Tauranga another mission building has been preserved by the descendants of its founder, Archdeacon Brown. Built in 1847, the house is another good example of early colonial architecture, particularly the main front with its tall french windows. Inside there is a lovely curved staircase which, unfortunately, has no architectural justification as it leads only to a roof storage space. Still standing are some of the ancillary buildings–the outside kitchen and storerooms, and the famous little library built in 1844. The building is an integral part of the history of the Church Mission Society , but it has political interest too, because of its association with the Maori Wars of the eighteen sixties, especially the battle of Gate Pa.

Next Part: Conclusion