A seismic upgrade is in store for a unique Hastings heritage building.

Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced that Poppelwells Building is one of 10 heritage buildings from across New Zealand that will be strengthened against earthquakes.

"The owners of the Poppelwells Building in Hastings have been awarded $50,000, to assist them strengthen unreinforced masonry internal walls," he said.

"About $116,490 in new grants will help regional heritage building owners get suitable professional advice.


The Heritage EQUIP earthquake strengthening programme is providing $958,962 to recipients in a number of regional centres as well as main cities, with $842,472 going directly to seismic upgrade works.

The building is owned by Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst and her husband Mark and they said they couldn't be more thrilled with the announcement.

"The Poppelwells Building occupies a special place in our family's history. It's woven into our family's heritage and also the history of Hastings," Hazlehurst said.

"It survived the 1931 earthquake and the Poppelwell family were trading out of it only a week after the earthquake hit."

Hazlehurst came from a family of bakers who traded from the building for 80 years, a reason for why the building held such a special place in her heart.

"We have completed significant earthquake strengthening of the ground floor and have plans drawn for the first floor.

"Recently we applied to the Heritage EQUIP programme for funding and the manager told us they are really excited to have the opportunity to influence the preservation of such an iconic Hastings building."

Robertson said the buildings benefiting from the grants were all "Category 2" historic places in regional centres, including the Masonic Hotel in Cambridge, whose owners have been awarded $36,900 to assist them commission detailed structural and architectural designs.

"These grants were established as part of the package I announced earlier this year to help increase seismic upgrade activity in regional centres, and it's encouraging to see the strong level of interest being shown."