His­toric Fyffe House comes back to life


His­toric Fyffe House has re­opened al­most a year af­ter be­ing dam­aged in Novem­ber’s earth­quake.

Kaiko¯ura’s old­est sur­viv­ing build­ing, and the last rem­nant of a pi­o­neer whal­ing sta­tion, opened its doors to the pub­lic on Fri­day.

‘‘It’s a re­lief we have fi­nally been able to get to the point of re­open­ing Fyffe House as Her­itage New Zealand is keen to play its part in the re­ju­ve­na­tion of tourism in Kaik­oura,’’ said her­itage as­sets man­ager south Paul McGa­han.

‘‘Fyffe House staff are look­ing for­ward to be­ing able to host vis­i­tors again and the pop­u­lar Mu­sic on the Lawn event will run in late Jan­uary.’’

The prop­erty sus­tained dam­age to its chim­neys in the earth­quake.

The quake-dam­aged build­ing was deemed un­safe and re­ceived a yel­low sticker.

Re­pairs to ad­dress safety is­sues had been com­pleted and signed off an en­gi­neer, af­ter an in­spec­tion by Kaiko¯ura Dis­trict Coun­cil.

Work still re­mains to be done to com­plete re­pairs on the build­ing but the work is un­likely to pre­vent vis­i­tors from ac­cess­ing the prop­erty.

Fyffe House man­ager Ann McCaw said there are still su­per- fi­cial cracks in the in­te­rior but it is safe to be open.

The re­main­ing ex­te­rior re­pair work is ex­pected to be car­ried out over the com­ing sum­mer months, and plas­ter­ing over the cracks will be done in win­ter.

McCaw said it was good to be able to get the house open in time for the tourist sea­son.

‘‘It’s come back to life,’’ she said.

‘‘Every­thing was packed up and look­ing grim and seemed un­cared for.

‘‘It was a ghost of a house re­ally and get­ting it set back up makes it alive again.’’

McCaw said they were in­cred­i­bly lucky - the dam­age could have been much worse.

‘‘The is­sues haven’t been huge but it has been dif­fi­cult to re­solve them and now we can fo­cus on get­ting the rest of the work done,’’ she said.

Fyffe House on Avoca St is open from 10am to 5pm ev­ery day.


Vis­i­tor host Su­san Thomas at Fyffe House on Fri­day. The quake-dam­aged his­toric house has re­opened a year af­ter the 7.8-mag­ni­tude earth­quake.

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