Demolition of the derelict Kaikohe Hotel is due to begin in earnest next week as soon as hazardous asbestos has been removed.

Ken Rintoul, owner of the Okaihau firm Rintoul Civil, said the demolition job on the hotel would take up to two months.

Asbestos removal had been subcontracted to two specialist companies, including Whangarei's Barfoote Construction, which completed the first phase on Wednesday.

With asbestos-bearing fibrolite panels now removed another firm would remove the building's lagging and more hazardous blue asbestos.


If all went well demolition would begin next week, he said.

The hotel's now detached wing would be carefully taken apart so its native timber could be re-used. Part of the proceeds from selling the kauri and rimu would be donated to Kaikohe charities.

However, there was no way to save the striking mural painted on the building last year by street artists from Russia, Auckland and Warkworth.

Whether timber from the main building could be recycled would depend on how far asbestos had spread.

The hotel dates back to 1894 but has no official protection. The Historic Places Trust met last week with the current owner, Te Runanga-a-iwi o Ngapuhi, seeking permission to document the hotel before it was demolished.

The trust's Northland manager, Bill Edwards, said the meeting was cordial but whether the request could be granted would depend on the asbestos risk. It was a health and safety issue.

The hotel site will be grassed over and maintained by the Kaikohe-Hokianga Community Board until the runanga comes up with a plan for the prime Broadway site.