Topic: Bank of New Zealand Building, Kaiapoi

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This imposing classical brick and stone building was built in 1883 as a banking chamber and manager's residence. Occupying a prominent corner site, the BNZ proclaimed its status, stability and security with this fine, dignified building.

The Bank of New Zealand was founded in 1861. The Kaiapoi branch opened in April 1862 in a timber building on the corner of Williams and Charles Streets, Kaiapoi. In 1882 a decision was made to replace the wooden building with a building constructed of permanent materials. Thomas Lambert, a highly regarded Scottish-trained architect, was commissioned to design the building, and he drew up plans for the two-storey red-brick building. The building was designed to house the bank manager as well as the bank. To distinguish the two different roles of the building, Lambert treated the two facades quite differently. The Williams Street façade has a bay window, indicating the residential nature of that side of the building. The entrance facing onto Charles Street is identified by a classical pillared entrance and pediment. At the time of its opening it was the only bank in Kaiapoi.

The building contained the main banking chamber, manager’s office, stationery room and strong room. The manager’s residence had a kitchen, scullery and pantry downstairs, and five bedrooms, a drawing room, and bathroom upstairs. At a later stage the bank’s business expanded to fill the manager’s residence.

The BNZ moved to new premises in Williams Street on 26 October 1988. The building has since been used for offices, doctor’s rooms and a funeral director. It was damaged in the September 2010 earthquake.

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Bank of New Zealand Building, Kaiapoi