Newspaper Article 1976 – Plan to rebuild identical Waikoko ‘a serious mistake’

Plan to rebuild identical Waikoko ‘a serious mistake’

The Hawke’s Bay A and P Society would make a “serious mistake” if it rebuilt Waikoko House as it was, a member of the general committee, Mr H. K. (Jock) Stevenson, said yesterday.

Waikoko fund now $4700

The Hawke’s Bay A and P Society has now received gifts and promises totalling $4700 to go toward putting up a new building at Waikoko Gardens to replace the century old home burnt down a week ago.

The latest commitments have come from Messrs J. N. Lowry ($1000) and E. W. White, president of the society ($200), the secretary, Mr Keith Moody, told the general committee yesterday.

The society had already received a commitment of $1000 from Mr J. K. Anderson, a member of the general committee, cheques for $1000 each from Messrs Eric and Leslie Nelson, and $500, from Mrs E. C. Horne. The last three are grandchildren of the builder of Waikoko, Mr William Nelson.

He said Waikoko House was loved while it was there, but attempts to recreate it would result in a very empty facade.

The society should build something that was suitable for such things as weddings- the use Waikoko was put to.

He was supported by a former president of the society, Mr J. M. Chambers, who was on the committee when the society bought Waikoko and the surrounding grounds.

The society should not be timid when it rebuilt, but put up a building that would meet the purpose it was required for.

He said if the timid ones had their way when the society was offered the house, it would not have bought it.

Mr R. A. Nimon said the front part of the building should be replaced with something similar to what was there.

Mr M. G. Beamish said he would like to see the front veranda replaced, with a hall at the back.

“The front should be made as near as possible like the old building,” he said.

It will be about two months before it is known if the wisteria, which ran along the front veranda, can be saved.

The committee did not make a decision on what form the new building would take or on whether to hold a competition among architects, but it did decide to put up another building.

It appointed a sub-committee to investigate fund raising and how to go about designing and putting up a new building. It will report to the next general committee meeting later this month.

The sub-committee is the president Mr E. W. White, the vice-president, Mr T. J. Fourneau, the past-presidents, Messrs A. R. H. Absolum [Absolom], R. M. Bell, J. M. Chambers and J. L. Herrick, the treasurer, Mr T. I. Caseley and general committee members, Messrs G. H Lloyd, Stevenson and J. Russell.

Messrs Caseley and Fourneau said they favoured a competition among architects to come up with a design.

But Mr Stevenson said that with a competition the society might not get what it wanted for the prize money it would have to give.

It might be a better idea to give an architect the society’s thoughts so he could come up with a design.

“This might save time and money,” he said.

Mr Lloyd said it would cost from $70,000 to $80,000 to replace Waikoko with a building to cater for the events which were held at Waikoko.

He said it would be to the society’s benefit to rebuild without adding to its mortgage commitments.

The secretary, Mr Keith Moody said Waikoko was insured for $25,000 and the society had to prove the building was worth that before receiving the money.

Mr Caseley said an appeal for funds should be voluntary. and not organised.


Mr B. L. Pattullo said the society should look at issuing debentures and making a special levy at the gate during the show as the community should help as well as society members.

Mr R. W. Klingender said he did not agree with the levy. People were all the time having appeals “shoved under their noses.”

If the society explained to the public what it needed it would get more sympathy, he said.

Mr R. A. Nimon said the society should get out a plan so it could show people what it was doing.

Mr Stevenson said it was no use just asking people for money, because it would not come.

“You’ve got to get your heads together and plan – and set a deadline for the appeal,” he said.

Original digital file


Non-commercial use

Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ)

This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 New Zealand (CC BY-NC 3.0 NZ).


Commercial Use

Please contact us for information about using this material commercially.


Waikoko House burnt down 2 August 1976

Format of the original

Newspaper article

Date published



Accession number


Do you know something about this record?

Please note we cannot verify the accuracy of any information posted by the community.

Supporters and sponsors

We sincerely thank the following businesses and organisations for their support.