The demolition crew moved in at 6.30am on Sunday and an hour later the former Mitre 10 kitchen and bathroom showroom on High St was reduced to dust and rubble.

"It just fell apart," contractor Ernie Christison said.

And with the footpath closed just briefly, residents taking an early morning walk were able to see the progress.

"You'd think the building would have put up a bit of a fight, but it's just crumbled," Greg Motu said. "The pace of work is impressive."

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Although the demolition took less than an hour, Mr Christison said it would take three days to cart away the rubble. Yesterday morning the site was clear and ready to be turned into a carpark.

Prior to Mitre 10 occupying the building it was home for Martin Beveridge Resene Colorshop and local historian Nick Hill said he believed the building originally dated back to the 1950s.

"There have been quite a few tenants, but the last one I can remember was a saddler in the 1980s," he said.