The Robert McGregor Heritage Fund

The Robert McGregor Heritage Fund

Robert McGregor (1940 – 2015)

Founding member and inaugural CEO of the Art Deco Trust

Launch of the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund

In November 2017 Art Deco Trust launched the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund. The purpose of this fund is to enable the Trust, in partnership with the Napier City Council to provide financial assistance to owners of heritage buildings and in doing so, continue to support the preservation and restoration of this critical element of the Napier story.

The fund is named after Robert McGregor (1940-2015). Robert was a founding member of the Art Deco Trust, the Trust’s first President and its first Executive Director (from 1992). He was a passionate advocate of Napier, Hawke’s Bay and our unique art deco architecture and heritage.

Art Deco Trust and the Napier City Council both contribute to the fund.

The fund is to be used to assist with physical works for heritage buildings and at this stage, applications can be made only for minor restoration and painting work.

Heritage Working Group

Art Deco Trust has appointed a Heritage Working group, consisting of the following qualified people who will make the decision for awards grants from the heritage fund:

Matthew Bonnett – Historic Places Hawke’s Bay representative
Michael Fowler – Historian and ex Art Deco Trust Heritage Officer
Ann Galloway – Architect and Art Deco Trust member
David Low – Art Deco Trust long-serving volunteer and Art Deco advocate
Guy Marriage – Architect and Writer, and Senior Lecturer, Wellington School of Architecture
Jeremy Smith, Secretary/Administrator, Heritage Manager/GM, Art Deco Trust

Two calls for applications are made each year and are open for the month: (February and July) – the Working Group following the call for applications and Awards made following.

What to support the fund?

If you would like to make a donation* to the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund, either in memory of Robert or to further assist the work of the Trust to Preserve and Restore Art Deco Heritage in Hawke’s Bay then please follow the link below.

*All donations are tax deductible

Building Owners

If you are the owner of a Napier Art Deco Quarter / CBD building and want to find out more about the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund Granting program and the criteria for making an application, then, please follow the link below.

Applications open February and July each year

Recipient of Robert McGregor Heritage Fund


In March 2023, awards were made in support of repainting of Tennyson Chambers, Tennyson Street, 58 Dalton Street (formally known as CD Cox Building), 74 and 120 Tennyson Street, and 243 Emerson Street.

In September, an award was made to the owners of the T&G Building, Marine Parade towards the restoration of the clock tower and clock.


In March 2022, awards were made in support of repainting 243 Emerson StreetCentral Fire Station Flats, Tennyson Street, Colenso House, Emerson Street. An award was also given to McClurg’s, Hastings Street to support the restoration of the original access gates. 

In September 2022, awards were made in support of repainting 32 Hastings Street (former Bank of New South Wales, and Ritchie’s Building, Hastings Street, Sainsbury, Logan, Williams Building, Tennyson Street, and T&G Building, crn Emerson and Marine Parade.


In March 2021, awards were made in support of repainting Hawke’s Bay Chambers, Emerson Street, Central Fire Station, Tennyson Street, and 15 Cathedral Lane Building. An award was also given to Archie’s Bunker, Herschell Street to support improvement work to the facade of the building. 

In September 2021, awards were made in support of repainting Former Fire Chief’s House, Tennyson Street, and Provincial Hotel, Emerson Street.


In 2020, awards were made in support of repainting of the former Ross & Glendining Ltd Building Napier’s Antiques and Jewellery Centre, 65 Tennyson Street, and the Market Reserve Building 28-34 Tennyson Street.


In 2019, awards were made in support of repainting of Briasco’s Building, 156-160 Emmerson Street and Wellsford Building, 157 Emmerson Street, Bennett’s Building, 131-139 Hastings Street, Australian Mutual Prudential Society Building, 1 Shakespeare Street. An award was also made in support of repainting 76 Tennyson Street.


The Daily Telegraph Building is an iconic landmark on Tennyson street and it has been given new life thanks to a new coat of paint. The Canning and Loudoun Building just down the road has also received some much needed TLC. The CB Hansen Building has had a major spruce up both inside and out. Finally the Sainsbury Logan Building has received some support to help with some critical preservation work to their Art Deco skylight, a favourite feature for our visitors who get to view this building on our daily tours.
The grants are gratefully received by all of our building owners. The fund is allowing us to build relationships and generate dialogue which will deliver significant wins for us as we continue to pursue our heritage mission.

The former Bank of New South Wales Building (architects Crichton McKay & Haughton, built 1933) on Hastings Street is receiving an overhaul inside and out with new owners bringing it back to its former glory. Owner, Carol Howard says “We are delighted to receive this grant which will assist with the painting of the façade, this will really bring together all the hard work completed over the past few months during the renovation and really bring the building back to life”.

CD Cox’s Building on Dalton Street where owners Greg and Wendy Nowell Usticke are converting the spacious middle floors into 2 smart Art Deco Apartments. This is a labour of love for Greg and Wendy and the funding will assist with the façade painting back to its original colours.

The Golden Crown Building on Dickens Street is getting an overhaul by Wallace Development with a new restaurant tenanting the ground floor and a renovation of the first floor apartment and earthquake strengthening. Funds awarded will again assist the painting of the façade.

The iconic Hawke’s Bay Club on the corner of Byron St and Marine Parade are embarking on a full repaint of the façade of the building which the Robert McGregor Heritage Fund is supporting.  The 1906 Walter Finch building was one of the few wooden buildings to survive the fires that swept through Napier after the 1931 earthquake.

The former Robert Holt Building, a prominent Spanish Mission building on the corner of Hastings and Tennyson Street, with new tenants, The Dentists, they are embarking on a full repaint bringing it back to its former glory.

The Masonic Hotel, (1932) for restoration of the canopies on the corner of Tennyson and Hastings Street. The Owners Craig Hay and Neil Barber plan to install original style detailing to the canopy’s, also giving them a paint. Craig says “we are grateful to the Art Deco Trust and Robert McGregor Heritage Fund for the funding allowing us to bring the canopies back to their original form, it is important to us to ensure we restore features of the building in keeping with the Art Deco style”.


The Market Reserve Building is one of our most prominent heritage buildings and spans an entire block surrounded by Tennyson St, Hastings St, Emmerson St and Market St.  Representative, Justine Walker from the body corp says “on behalf of the owners of the Criterion and Market Reserve buildings, I would like to applaud the Art Deco Heritage Committee in realising the value of these properties and the costs that go into preserving them. We are extremely privileged to have received a grant from the committee to help with some of the costs that were involved in our recent restoration and painting project”.

The second recipient is the Hilderbrandts Building, a 1933 Louis Hay design which is a favourite on the regular walking tours of the city because of its interesting facade.

Robert McGregor Heritage Fund is supported by Napier City Council.