Waterfront icon’s new future
by Paul Campbell
An iconic landmark on Whakapirau’s waterfront has been given a new lease of life after years in the doldrums following its former role as a dairy factory, a dance hall and an oyster opening plant.
The building has been bought by Waiheke Island hotelier, Jonathon Scott, to be turned into a luxury holiday home.
“It’s something pretty special, and after living on Waiheke for years, Whakapirau is a place that reminds me of what Waiheke was long ago, before the extensive development of today,” said, Jonathon Scott, who owns The Boatshed boutique hotel at Oneroa on the island.
“I’ll be happy to share more technical details of the project when we open the doors,” said Mr Scott. “I know a lot of local people will be interested, and it has been completely rebuilt on the inside.
“It will be my holiday home and could be available for holiday rentals as well.”
The building was constructed on the beach from kauri timber set on concrete piles alongside the wharf and opened as the North Kaipara Co-operative Dairy factory in 1904, closing in 1916.
The building became a public hall, and there are contemporary accounts of Saturday night dances although the ‘dance floor’ was sloped as it was built for easy washing down.
Thereafter, the building history is vague, with its use for processing oysters and then with a series of different owners.