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CRL saves one of Auckland’s heritage ‘old timers’

CRL saves one of Auckland’s heritage ‘old timers’

One of Auckland’s oldest pioneer homes has been saved from demolition by the City Rail Link (CRL) project and relocated 75 kilometres away in the historic Waikato community of  Rangiriri.

The 19th century Kauri weatherboard cottage was built in Flower Street above the Mt Eden railway station where more modern offices and factories are now being salvaged and demolished for CRL.   

“Relocating the cottage is a great outcome,” says Sarah Sutherland, Environment Sustainability Manager for the Link Alliance,  which is managing the Mt Eden demolition as part of its work to build the CRL tunnels and stations.

“Buildings like this are becoming less common, and Link Alliance and City Rail Link Ltd are  committed to protecting New Zealand’s cultural and historic heritage for future generations,” Mrs Sutherland says.  
 
She describes the house as a “lovely example” of a typical late-19th century weatherboard cottage.  

The exact construction date is unknown. Some  records indicate the cottage may have been built 143 years ago, in 1876. Its first family moved in at a time when Queen Victoria was New Zealand’s head of state, we were still a British colony, our isolation was just coming to an end with the opening of the first telegraphic communications cable under the Tasman Sea to Australia, and there was no such thing as the New Zealand All Black rugby team.

The cottage was transported by road overnight to Waikato. Ward Demolition managed the relocation and Managing Director Peter Ward says the shift was completed smoothly.

“After all these years the cottage still has good ‘bones’  and all our dots around planning and the shift on the night came together perfectly to move it safely. Everyone’s come away with a good feeling that they’ve helped give the house a second life,” Mr Ward says. 

The cottage is being “parked” temporarily before being moved permanently to the historic Rangiriri Hotel,  which was also built around the same time.  The hotel’s owners plan to restore the cottage and other similar homes as part of a historic-based redevelopment of their property. 

“The Link Alliance and CRL Ltd are really pleased the cottage will get a new lease of life in its new location, and people will have the opportunity to enjoy it for many years to come,”  Mrs Sutherland says.

Buildings being demolished next to the Mt Eden station will allow the Link Alliance to use the cleared land as a staging area for the main phase of CRL construction.  The site will be used to launch a tunnel boring machine that will start excavating the twin rail tunnels between Mt Eden and central Auckland in early 2021, and to connect CRL with the existing Western rail line.

More information about the CRL project is available at https://www.cityraillink.co.nz
 
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