Funding for historic Christchurch pumphouse buildings

  • Maggie Barry
Arts, Culture and Heritage

Christchurch’s historic pumphouse complex of buildings has been awarded $200,000 to help with earthquake strengthening work.

Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry says the funding is part of round two of the Heritage EQUIP scheme to support private owners of heritage buildings to get necessary earthquake strengthening work done.

“Heritage buildings are an important part of the character of New Zealand, but the cost of strengthening can be prohibitive and unsustainable for owners,” Ms Barry says.

“The Pumphouse buildings originally housed the first sewage pumping station in Christchurch. They currently house a demolition yard and are part of a privately held collection of architectural antiques.”

“The buildings have been used as background for wedding photography, a fashion shoot and as the base for a local heritage week event. They also have economic value as a business base as they are centrally located and close to main transport routes.”

Ms Barry has also acknowledged the strong advocacy of Christchurch central MP Nicky Wagner for the project.

“The complex of buildings are only at 10 percent of New Building Standard (NBS). The owners have chosen to bring them to 67 percent NBS to ensure the historic buildings can continue to be used well into the future,” Ms Barry says.

“This set of buildings was built in the late 1800s and was still used as a pumping station until 1957. Functional public utility buildings are often overlooked but they are of significant historical and social value.”

“They have gabled roofs in a combination of slate and corrugated iron, restrained classical detailing in Oamaru stone, distinctive arched windows and doors, multi-paned steel windows and round windows in some of the gables.”

Heritage EQUIP ( was set up last year and as well as funding for seismic work it includes web-based information and resources.