Topic: Durham Street, Tauranga

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A summary of historical references to Durham street taken from a 2008 Heritage Study and from Bellamy’s “Tauranga 1882-1982” published in 1982.

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Durham Street, Tauranga.

A summary of historical references to Durham street taken from a 2008 Heritage Study and from Bellamy’s “Tauranga 1882-1982” published in 1982.  In 2015 local retiree Rodney Giddens undertook to provide a photographic record of shop fronts from the roadside of Tauranga’s CBD, including Durham Street. “There is very little artistic merit in the images”, Rodney says, “but I believe a record has been obtained”. Rodney’s images are part of the ‘related items’ to this article.

  • 1860s. The 68th Durham Light Infantry was stationed in Tauranga during the Maori Wars. Durham Street runs along one side of the site of the Durham Redoubt. The Redoubt was situated on the area bounded by Durham Street, Hamilton Street, Cameron Road and Harington Street (Bellamy. 1982 p. 59).
  • 1860s. In the mid-1860s, Colonel Greer’s servant’s quarters where built at what is today number 4 Durham Street. It was removed to the Historic Village 30 August 1970.

Col. Greer's cottage

Colonel Greer's servants' cottage, built mid 1860s, north side.  4 Durham Street. Image ID 03-252 

  • 1867. In July 1867 the “Record” a local paper at the time, revealed that “two allotments in Durham Street had been already set aside for a Mechanic's Institute.” (Bellamy. 1982 p. 80). This did not eventuate however and the Mechanic’s Institute and Library was established elsewhere.
  • 1867. In August of 1867, Mr and Mrs Dalziel opened a school in the Durham Redoubt, just months after the Catholic church had announced in the “Record” their school was open to children under 12 (Bellamy. 1982. p. 133).
  • 1877. “The Durham Redoubt was levelled in 1877 and the fill was used to raise the level of adjoining roads, particularly Hamilton Street. It remained government land, and was known as the Market Reserve. An old house on the property was used as a museum by the Tauranga Historical Society until the establishment of the Historic Village museum. It was sold, and the Durham Motor Inn built on the site in 1992” (2008 Central Tauranga Heritage Study p. 16).
  • “The Fire Brigades Act 1882 put the onus on local authorities to provide and maintain a fire brigade. In August, 1882 the fire bell ordered by the Borough Council arrived. Fire brigade material also ordered arrived per the S.S. Lora in September. Mr C.R.Leighton was the contractor for the erection of the fire bell stand which was on the south west corner of Durham Street and Spring Street. It was completed on 18 October 1882” (Bellamy. 1982 p. 96).
  • 1909. Durham Street was one of a number of streets laid with gas mains during the first part of 1909 by Mr F. Lees, the winner of the tender set out the year before. “The change-over from gas to electricity for street lighting was made on 2nd October, 1915. Gas remained, however, as a source of power for domestic purposes“ (Bellamy. 1982 p. 76).
  • Around 1909 the fifth telephone to be installed on the exchange was for a “Nurse Conway-Jones advertised her nursing home in Durham Street” (Bellamy. 1982. p. 153).
  • “In 1910 the Council suggested that arrangements be made to erect a fire brigade station on the corner of Wharf and Durham Streets. May, 1911 saw the preparation of plans for the new station to be known as the "George V" Coronation Fire Station. Mr J. Brain received the contract to build the new fire station and he commenced construction in October, 1911” (Bellamy. 1982. p. 96).
  • 1911. The first fire station was constructed on the north east corner of the Durham/ Spring Street intersection. The foundation stone of the King George V Coronation Fire Station was laid on 23 June 1911. It was completed in February 1912. A 60ft high free standing tower was completed on. 30 October 1911. The fire bell was tested on 3 April and “could be heard throughout the borough”. (Bellamy, A.C. Tauranga Fire Brigade Tauranga, 1982). 

Fire Station c 1911 00-43

Tauranga Fire Brigade, Fire Station and tower on the corner of Durham St and Wharf St (east side) c. 1911). Image I.D. 00-43 


  • 1912. On August 23 of 1912, Eiffel Tower Brewery, owned by J. Choc-queel and G.A. Brabant, opened on Durham Street (Bellamy. 1982. 270). 99-1149

Eiffel Tower Brewery c 1912 99-1149

The Eifell Tower Brewery on the south east corner of Durham and Hamilton Streets, Tauranga, c 1912 for J.Choqueel and Co. Building erected 1912, later a guest house and a Youth Hostel. Image ID 99-1149


  • 1915. The change-over from gas to electricity for street lighting was made on 2nd October, 1915 (Bellamy. 1982 p. 76).
  • 1955. The Bay of Plenty Times shifted from Willow Street to Durham Street in 1955. 
  • In 1969 the Tauranga Historical Society persuaded the city council to allow them the use of The Anchor House on the Market Reserve, formerly the Durham Redoubt. (This was used to house the Museum collection which had been from 1881 in the Mechanics institute, then from 1938, in the Town Hall) (2008 Central Tauranga Heritage Study p. 74, and (Bellamy. 1982 p. 280). Though the location was turned into a museum , it was only considered a temporary arrangement pending the formation of a Museum Board. The museum on this site opened on 20th December, 1969” (Bellamy. 1982. 110).
  • In 1971 the demolition of the old San Francisco building took place on Durham Street.
  • 1973. Baycourt. In 1973 the Tauranga Community Arts Council began the task of achieving a modern Arts and Community Centre. This vision came into being in 1983, when Baycourt was opened by Prince Charles and Princess Diana. The Christchurch firm of Warren and Mahoney won the Waikato Bay of Plenty branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects 1983 award in the cultural and entertainment category for the building that was erected on the corner of Durham and Wharf Street, where the fire station had once stood. (2008 Central Tauranga Heritage Study p.74).
  • The 2008 Central Tauranga Heritage Study notes commercial and community buildings along Durham Street have included the BOP Times, Johnston & Denniston (NZTG 18/8/64) and George Mason Motors Ltd, (1968 Sargent Smith & Ptnrs).



From Central Tauranga Heritage Study Part one , Prepared for Tauranga city council and Environment Bay of Plenty by Matthews & Matthews architects ltd In association with Jinty Rorke, Jennie Gainsford, Lisa Truttman and R.A Skidmore & Associates. April 2008.

Bellamy, A.C. ed. Tauranga 1882-1982. Tauranga, Tauranga City Council, 1982


This page archived at Perma CC in September of 2016:

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Durham Street, Tauranga

Year:c.1910, c.1960, c.1920, c.1970, c.1930, 2015, c.1940, c.1860, c.1870, c.1880, c.1890, c.1950, and c.1900

Latitude and Longitude coordinates: -37.6847727,176.16735740000001

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