New life for Hokitika Fire Station
Built in 1952, Hokitika’s old Fire Station has been lovingly rebuilt and repurposed as boutique accommodation right in the heart of Hokitika. Steeped in history and built on the same site as three previous fire stations—ironically all burned down— the grand old lady became vacant a number of years ago when the fire service relocated closer to Westland Milk Products.
Seismically strengthened well beyond Hokitika’s earthquake standard by a previous owner, the two storey building was purchased by business partners Kerry Jeffs and Peter Boocock in 2017, setting in motion an eighteen month major internal rebuild project.
Completed in April this year by Hokitika Building Services, the one million dollar re-build project involved a complete internal strip out, rewiring, re-plumbing and the installation of new walls, floors and ceilings to create five luxurious boutique apartments.
Three spacious studio units, each with their own kitchenettes have been created on the upper level while the lower level includes an ‘accessible’ studio unit suitable for less mobile guests and a family unit with its own kitchen and three individual bedrooms.
Each apartment beautifully and comfortably furnished largely through local suppliers have been given the names of the first five fire chiefs: Henshaw, Millard, MacFarlane, Shain and Thompson.
Staying faithful to the building’s heritage, fire station memorabilia including photographs of the previous three fire stations have been collected, enlarged and now adorn the walls creating atmos-phere of a bygone age.
Kerry Jeffs, who has overseen the building’s redevelopment, says that some of the other items collected include antique fire extinguishers, fire-men’s helmets, fire nozzles and a 1964 TK Bedford Fire Truck.“The fi re engine is kept in storage off-site but I bring it out on fine days and the tourists love it.
People take photos of it and I take the occasional family for a lap around the block.”A courtyard has been created at the rear of the building allowing space for parking along with a BBQ and big outdoor fireplace, providing a space for guests to relax, mingle and plan their next days adventure.
With a steady stream of guests coming through since its grand opening in April, Hokitika Fire Station Boutique Accommodation offers a comfortable short-term retreat for those looking for a little comfort within an historic building.
“The Qualmark representative came through the other day. She was booked in for a day but loved it so much she stayed for two and awarded us a five star rating.”
Offering everything from exquisite glass objects of desire blown in the shop by craftsmen, pounamu and bone locally carved, painted stones, photography and gold along with a superb coffee culture and coastal beach front, Hokitika is a magnet for art and nature lovers.
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