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"A small New Zealand City that seems sometimes fictional" 

Art Deco makes it to Hawke's Bay

Far from the world's great population centres and from the European and American cities where 20th Century design evolved lays a small city that is unique.

Napier, New Zealand, was rebuilt in the early 1930s following a massive Richter 7.8 Earthquake. Subsequent fires destroyed most of its commercial heart. By the end of the decade, Napier was the newest city on the globe.

Nowhere else can you see such a variety of buildings in the styles of the 1930s - Stripped Classical, Spanish Mission, and above all Art Deco, the style of the 20th Century - in such a concentrated area.

Napier's Art Deco is unique, with Maori motifs and the buildings of Louis Hay, admirer of the great Frank Lloyd Wright.

Enhanced by palms and the angular Norfolk Island pines which are its trademark, and surrounded by fertile fruit and grape growing plains, dramatic hills and the shores of the South Pacific, beautiful Napier is the centre of the Hawke's Bay region.

In Napier, you can enjoy the legacy of its brave rebuilding and savour the spirit of the optimistic Art Deco era.

Click here for information on our inventory of all Art Deco buildings in Napier.

Hastings, Napier's neighbouring city, is only 20 kms away and it was also stricken by the 1931 Earthquake. It has a wealth of buildings in the same styles as Napier.

For more information about Hastings Art Deco visit 


Napier's Art Deco Inventory

The Art Deco Trust in association with the Napier City Council commissioned and produced the full inventory of Napier’s Art Deco buildings.This was complied by Amanda Bilman and Tom Gill.

The inventory can be accessed online via the Napier City Council website or by 
clicking here.

(Please note that this link will take you to an e-book which may take a minute or two to download.)

For more specific information on individual buildings within Napier City please do contact the Art Deco Trust by 
clicking here.

Hastings Art Deco Inventory

Hastings, Napier's neighboring city, is only 20 kilometers away and it was also stricken by the 1931 Earthquake. It has a wealth of buildings in the same styles as Napier. 

The jewel in Hastings crown is certainly the Hawke’s Bay Opera House.

The Art Nouveau theatre with its Spanish Mission façade, built in 1915, received an extensive upgrade in 2006 and is once again an architectural delight. The Hawke's Bay Opera House was designed by Wellington Architect, Henry Eli White, and built in 1915. The Theatre was built by Napier firm, Bull Brothers, who submitted the lowest tender at £12,000. A considerable sum, reflecting the community’s support for performing arts. To visit the Hawke's Bay Opera House click here.

To purchase The Self Drive Art Deco Tour which details points of interest in Hastings click here.