Newspaper Article 1976 – Operation of pottery kilns in housing areas causes dispute

Operation of pottery kilns in housing areas causes dispute

The operation of pottery kilns and other cottage industries in Havelock North residential areas caused a dispute at the borough council meeting last night.

Councillors were considering an application from Mr A. G. Williams to build a kiln at 9 Tauroa Rd. The application was declined.

The council’s building inspector, Mr Frank Percy, said this type of cottage industry appeared to be increasing but such an operation in a residential area was contrary to provisions of the code of ordinances in the district scheme.

The building and bylaws committee recommended that the application be declined and the matter be referred to [to] the council’s town planner for review.


However, Cr O. J. Kirker said the council had previously approved the building of one kiln in a residential area and urged the council should “take a consistent line.”

The chairman of the committee, Cr C. A. S. Padfield, said there were kilns being operated “illegally” in the borough and Mr Williams’s application had brought the matter to a head.

The town clerk, Mr R. C. Dick, said that some operators did not have dangerous goods licences and the building inspector was concerned that their kilns had been installed incorrectly and could endanger property.


The mayor, Mr Jeff Whittaker, said the council should have some control over cottage industries.

“I also agree that the kilns are fairly dangerous. They can be heated up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, they can explode with the wrong mixture, and there is noticeable noise from the kilns.”

Cr Padfield said if a kiln was built on a minimum-size section it would be “undesirable” because of the close proximity to properties.

“We are not creating a law for the rich or the poor, but these are the things involved. The town plan will be as specific as we can make it or we won’t have a leg to stand on,” Cr Padfield said.

Cr Kirker said he agreed some controls were needed over cottage industry.

“But if we have approved two kilns before and they are no different, then we are being inconsistent,” he said.


Cr Harry Romanes said one of the two applications approved had been sited in a commercial area.

He felt the council had not set a precedent by giving these approval. It now realised it had to “look deeper into the matter.”

“Cottage industries could be offensive to people next door.”

Cr Romanes told councillors to remember the “hue and cry” about noise from Duart House, and compared the noise from a man making drums at 10 o’clock at night as a cottage industry.

Mr Whittaker said the application had suggested that the potter might gain returns from the kiln.

“The application we approved in Pufflett Rd was for a hobby – that is where the difference could lie.”

Cr Kirker moved that a decision be “held over” until a full investigation has been made.

Cr Romanes said the application could be lodged again after the town plan was formulated. The amendment was lost.

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Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published

16 December 1976


  • R C Dick
  • Councillor O J Kirker
  • Councillor C A S Padfield
  • Councillor Harry Romanes
  • Jeff Whittaker
  • A G Williams

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