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Napier was destroyed by earthquake and fire in 1931
and rebuilt in the styles of the times.

The Trust's History

The Art Deco Trust was formed in February 1985 in order to promote the newly published "Take a Walk Through Art Deco Napier" leaflet which had been funded by the Hawke's Bay Museum, the Ministry of Works & Development and the Napier City Council.

In June 1985 it organised the premiere of Peter Wells' television film "Newest City On The Globe".
On a fine winter Sunday afternoon, a crowd of 1100 people turned out to walk the streets of Napier and view its buildings, before viewing the film in a 340-seat theatre. The public's enthusiasm encouraged those involved to continue working for the preservation, enhancement and promotion of Napier's unique architecture, constructed after the Earthquake of 1931.
The Trust was legally incorporated in 1987.

In 1992, with support from the Napier City Council, the Trust became a full-time operation with a salaried staff member and its own premises and shop at what was once the Napier's Central Fire Station in Tennyson Street, Napier.

Today the Trust occupies a hugely increased space at the renamed Art Deco Centre and employs four full-time staff members and six part time staff members, assisted by over 120 dedicated volunteers.
Each year an estimated 25,000 people take an Art Deco Walk, some on guided walks led by the Trust's volunteer walk guides and others on self guided walks through the Art Deco city using the Trust’s 
Self Guided Walks Brochure. In 2010, after operating for 25 years, the Trust's turnover exceeded $1.5 Million.

Our Vintage Cars

So many many incredible things have come from the art deco period, least of all, the cars. The art deco trust has access to an incredible set of vintage cars cared for and manager by our volunteers. Click here to see more about the cars you can take on tours or hire for your wedding. 


Our Vision

That Napier is an acknowledged world leader in Art Deco era heritage.


Our Mission

To be committed to the preservation, restoration, promotion and celebration of Napier’s Art Deco era heritage.



The Trust Today

The Art Deco Trust plays many roles that include providing Art Deco leadership, networking and coordination within the Hawke’s Bay Region; undertaking preservation and advocacy activities along with research and promotion, and providing information and education.

Napier's unique heritage is passionately protected under the careful governance of Napier's Art Deco Trust.
The Trust drives Napier’s preservation movement and its volunteer guides interpret this famous city centre for visitors from all over the world. All the guides relate the unique story of Napier, its destruction and rebirth, providing educational entertainment on an enthusiastic and personal level.

The Trust has succeeded in and continues to:
  • Attract significant numbers of tourists to Napier from within New Zealand and overseas 
  • Persuade owners that their Art Deco buildings are worthy of preservation
  • Encourage the enhancement of a significant number of buildings
  • Advise owners on the restoration and enhancement of their buildings
  • Recognise restoration projects with its annual Art Deco Awards
  • Engendering a new pride in the city from its residents
  • Making Napier world-famous for its architecture
The Trust also delivers initiatives that support tourism and deliver economic benefits to Napier and Hawke’s Bay by acting as a tourism operator, retailer, publisher and event organiser.
To help protect Napier heritage, consider becoming a member of the Art Deco Trust, purchasing one of our exclusive publications or making a donation.


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