The Youth Hostel Association is looking for a possible new Hawke's Bay home after the sale of its historical landmark on Napier's beachfront.

The large wooden building, on a corner of the Marine Parade and Vautier St roundabout intersection, survived the Hawke's Bay Earthquake in 1931.

It was owned by the YHA for many years but had been owned in recent years by franchised operators, as part of a network of more than 30 YHA hostels nationwide.

It has now been sold to Hawke's Bay accommodation providers Miss Properties who took over four weeks ago and offer accommodation for up to 22 local boarders, in keeping with the short history of a business committed to finding accommodation for locals.


Of the future for the Youth Hostel Association in Hawke's Bay, chief executive Mark Wells said: "We are certainly keen to maintain brand representation in Napier. However, this will be through a third-party relationship rather than a direct YHA representation of the brand."

"We are scanning the market to see if there is a prospective partner, but it is early days," he said.

The YHA moved from direct ownership into franchisee arrangements as part of a hostel network review several years ago and a more strategic approach to capital investment, Wells said.

It now manages 13 hostels through 10 "key" tourism destinations and has third-party arrangements with 24 other hostels, which he said ensures a network that covers most of New Zealand.

The brand also operates via separate organisations in several other countries throughout the World.

Miss Properties joint managing director Tammy King said the company, established nine years ago and based mainly in Hastings, had "been trying to get into Napier for so long it's not funny" because of the demand that had "sky-rocketed" over the years of the housing crisis.

She and business partner Sarah King plan to maintain the building for the purpose, surprised at its general condition despite its age.