Landmark house no longer in the pink

By Wayne Thompson

Mission Bay's "pink house" or the "coconut ice", as residents and visitors have called it for decades, is no more.

The art deco bungalow still rises up from the footpath to nestle into a corner of the sea cliff as it has for 70 years.

But it's no longer pink.

"It's been repainted a dung-olive green," said Bain Duigan, one of several Aucklanders who have called the Herald this week to protest at the colour change.

The house on the prime waterfront site at 135 Tamaki Drive fetched $1.95 million when it sold in 2003, after being in the hands of the same family for 50 years. Pamela and Frank Thorpy changed its white stucco to pink, a favourite colour, in 1969.

Mr Thorpy was honorary consul for Brazil, author of wine books, and a leading light in the city's visual arts.

"I can't understand why anyone would buy an icon and then remove what made it iconic," said Mr Duigan.

He bought his mother, Judi, a painting of the pink house for Christmas, because she loved the building. "But we got a shocked call from the artist, Simon Stockley, saying it had been repainted," said Mr Duigan.

The owners of the house said last night they did not want to comment.

Auckland City Councillor Toni Millar, who lives in the eastern bays, said: "It is a shock. The house has been pink for as long as I can remember."

She said heritage planning rules applied to structural features of a scheduled house but not its colour.

The house is not on the council's schedule of heritage buildings.

Eastern Bays Community Board chairman Colin Davis said he missed the house not being pink and the absence of a statue of the Virgin Mary that was in a window ... "protecting the harbour".

Yesterday, Peter Thorpy could not recall why his parents had chosen pink. "I think it was just for a change.

"It was a common type of house of that period but in that position it always stood out."

Mr Thorpy said the house was sold after his parents died.

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