Friday, January 24, 2014

The former Matakohe Post & Telegraph Office Building (1908)

The Matakohe Post & Telegraph Office was opened in 1909. The building is presently sited next to The Kauri Museum at Church Street, Matakohe, and is registered as a Category 2 Historic Place Register No: 3911 on the NZHPT Register.

Matakohe Post Office Tender Notice NZH 21 March 1908 Page 2

The building has been fully restored and turned into a museum display by the The Kauri Museum. Tenders were first advertised for the construction of the new Post office in March 1908 by the Public Works Department. The Auckland Star (13 March 1908) reported:

The building at Matakohe will be somewhat after the appearance of a villa residence, in wood, and, judging by the appointments provided for, should prove a most serviceable and useful office. The front elevation shows that the main entrance will be reached through a porch leading to the public space, 10ft x 9ft. A spacious counter on the left separates the public from the mail room, which will be 15ft wide by 21ft long. At one corner of this room a small compartment, 7ft x 4ft 6in, contains the telephone exchange, which is also reached by another door in the side of the building. At the upper end of the public space will be found the telephone bureau, while the receiving boxes have been placed in the front of the building, just to the left of the porch. The mail room has been provided with a fire place, as have also the parlour, and one of the two bedrooms at the rear. The remainder of the accommodation for domestic needs includes a kitchen, bathroom, and outbuildings.

In May 1908, the Government accepted a tender sum £749 by Auckland based construction firm Radcliffe & Burton.

 The Government has accepted the tender of Messrs. Radcliffe and Burton, of Auckland, for the erection of a post office at Matakohe. The price is £749.
Dominion, Volume 1, Issue 204, 22 May 1908, Page 6 

By June 1908, the New Zealand Herald (24 June 1905) had reported the building was well in progression towards its completion:
The erection of the new post office is proceeding apace, and it will be, a decided acquisition to the district, having been designed on the most up-todate style, complete with telephone bureau, private box lobby, living rooms, etc.

The Kauri Museum information states the building was constructed in 1909, however the research I've posted indicates a year earlier 1908, rather than a year later. I have no date of when the post office was officially opened for business. By 1909, however the post office was open for postal services.

 With a radical change of Government policy during the 1980s, the Matakohe Post Office became a victim of the the many postal service closures through out New Zealand. The building closed for good in 1988.

Further Reading:

"A posting back in time - but can I take my gadgets too?"

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