The Stories Behind Waikouaiti's Landmark Buildings 


Then and Now: 17 Beach St


Mr and Mrs Nind with daughter Elizabeth
at the back of the house with the vegetable
garden on their right. The Hill’s Hoist
clothesline was a new invention in the
early 1950’s.

The property is now looking for someone
to restore it to a family home once again.


Built around 1912, number 17 was first the home of A & M Brocket. Graeme and Pat Nind owned it from 1954 til 1965. One of two daughters, Barbara Nind (our museum president) remembers it as a happy home with lots of fruit trees and an extensive back yard vegetable garden.

Even today the large ornamental trees at the front are a reminder of early days when the gardens ran alongside the cement path up to the front door.

The original water tank at the back door remains, albeit covered in ivy. A well once stood behind the house near the tank stand.

In 1965 the Nind’s sold the house to Mr Gough who only lived there a year, when it was purchased by Mr. McManus, a nurse at Cherry Farm. He lived there several years during which the sewerage was connected after a long period with no sump or efficient septic tank.

Mr McManus sold on to J & S Spruyt who moved there with their young daughter Lynda (a teenager then). They lived there three years or so, before selling to R & E Grubb. Bessy Grubb, a well-known identity, lived in the house for over 40 years before her death in May 2012, just shy of her 100th birthday.


Then and Now: Quarry Rd


An early view of the home and surrounds
looking towards Waikouaiti. The line visible
on the right bottom corner is Quarry Road.


View from the north-west showing the front
the property with its iron lace work.

A little out of town, in Quarry Road is the home of Bridget and Neil Martin. This property was once the home of James Andrew Townsend and his wife Emily Elizabeth Fry. The Frys were one of the early settling families in the area.

James, was the son of James Andrew Townsend snr of Trowbridge, Wiltshire who emigrated firstly to Melbourne, Australia and later Port Chalmers.

James Jnr married Emily in 1901 and they moved to the farm in 1907, which was likely when the house was built.

They owned the farm until 1957 when it was bought by Lydia Elizabeth Bains, a relative. She sold it to Robert McDonald in 1965 who in turn sold it to the Martins in 2001.

Some of the original features have been kept or restored, including the high ceilings and windows, and replacing dilapidated boards.


Then and Now: Cnr Beach and Stewart Sts


The two-storied timber home on the corner of Beach and Stewart Sts was built in 1911 and given to William Moore, a Dunedin solicitor and judge, by the builder as part payment of a debt and was used as a holiday home.

The property was sold in the early 1940s and has since had many owners, including the Thomson family (the lemonade manufacturers of Dunedin), the local butcher Mr Makin, and the Jackson family.

The balcony that was above the front bay window has gone, but the delightful architecture of what was once the entry and balcony above remain.

Then and Now: 52 Edinburgh St


The home at  52 Edinburgh St dates from the 1890s and was built below what was formerly Tumai Farm lands.  Its exact origins have proved elusive.

From title deeds dating from 1946, its owners have been listed as O’Halloran, Gibbs, Craigie, Andrews, Douglas, Clarkson, McDonald and the current owners Ernie and Liz Pulford.

Early in the 1950s, the then-owner and local builder George Gibbs wanted to rebuild the home and add more bedrooms. Bylaws required him to build within the footprint of the original home. Only minimal walls were left and the roof line was lifted so two bedrooms could be added upstairs. Larger windows have been put in and additional alterations made since.

Then: 31 Beach St

A photo from 1900. Note the timbers within the
hedge, but the more glamorous gate.

Now:  31 Beach St

The house as it is today.

Henry (Harry) Hurndell and his wife Caroline built No 31 Beach St in the 1870s and lived there until Henry died in 1932. The home was extended as the family grew.

Henry, a keen gardener, was well known for growing fragrant honeysuckle and for beekeeping.

The Hurndells’ son Herbert and his wife took over the property when Henry died, living there until Herbert died in 1956. A grand-daughter,  Helen Groves, then lived at No 31, the last Hurndell to do so.

In 1996-97 Mr and Mrs Steele moved into the cottage and made alterations but the essence of the cottage remains and Mrs Steele still lives there.





No 73 Beach St was built around the 1860s and moved to its current location address from a site near what is now the Chicken Farm.

It’s not clear who owned the house to begin with, but it was bought in the 1920s by the Blythe family. Mrs Blythe lived in the house for nearly 60 years, leaving only on reaching 99.

In spite of many renovations, the front of the house ­– which is a two-up, two-down cottage – is still evident. Additions to the house have made it more practical for modern living but it remains a very charming home.


Then: Waikouaiti General Store

Proprietor Malloch in front of the Waikouaiti General Store, on the corner of Pratt St and Main North Rd (1909).

Now: Beano’s Pies & Artisan Bakery 

Taking a break outside his bakery, Brian (Beano) Lanauze stands on the site that housed the general store (left) 150 years ago.

The original building, which went up in 1862, housed one of the oldest stores in Waikouaiti’s history, a business that stayed in one family for 90 years.

The store was built by D & J Malloch Bros, and remained in the family until 1952 when it was sold to the Lee family. The Croft family bought it in 1973 and turned the bottom floor into a very popular restaurant but it was destroyed by fire in 1986.

Subsequently rebuilt, it was a garden centre and second-hand business before becoming the now highly popular Beanos’ Pies and Artisan Bakery in 1999.


 Then: Waikouaiti News Agency

The Murray family outside their news agency.


The former news agency today.

The building started life as Mr G. K. Browne’s stationery shop. He kept the good citizens of the town supplied with pen, ink and paper for 25 years before selling the shop to the Murray family who added a barber’s shop and extended the premises so they could live on site.

Among others to have owned the news agency business and site over the years were a Mr O’Connell, Ramsay Townsend, John and Susan Brown, Allan and Kay Black and Oz Gibson.

The building has been rented to many different people since the mid 1980s. These days it is still in use as a shop, providing additional space for The Oddity, a second-hand shop next door.


Then: Waikouaiti’s flour mills

Shand’s Store at the northern end of Main North Road, Hawksbury (now Waikouaiti), began life as a flour mill. However, fire reared its ugly head and the store with which the mill was connected burnt down in 1863. When it was rebuilt, the site and business were bought by Anderson and Co and reopened as a grain, chaff and general store.

 Then: McDougall's Blacksmith Shop
 Now: The Ploughman Cafe and Restaurant

From the late 1880’s, 182 Main Rd Waikouaiti was a blacksmith’s shop. It was first run by William McDougall Snr and then by his sons who made cartwheels and farm gates, and forged shoes and ironware for the community. In 1958 the blacksmith shop was closed when Harry retired and the building was demolished.

When Wilf Kerr purchased the site he put up the current building which was divided into three premises; a tea rooms, video shop and TAB. Since then different owners have made changes and it is now a dedicated cafe and restaurant.