After sitting on the market for two years, Marton's 145-year-old Methodist church is being pulled down.
Hayden Gould and his business partner Bain Simpson from Rangitikei Development Ltd purchased the church but discovered rotting walls throughout the wooden structure.
"It's been on the market for so long and we knew something was up with it as it just wasn't selling, so we happened to go and look at it and could see it was full of rot," Gould said.
The 145-year-old building was designed by Fredrick de Jersey Clere who worked on more than 100 churches across the lower North Island between the end of the 1800s and 1904.
It has been disused since 2005 and was sold by the church in 2007 to Hollywood-based movie and TV executive Neal Zoromski whose credits as head of props include the TV series Scrubs, Scandal and Criminal Minds.
He intended to renovate the property but a change in personal circumstances meant the project was never completed.
Gould and Simpson looked into the cost of fixing it up but said it was not feasible so they have decided to recycle some of the materials and sell them before the rest is demolished.
"The internal walls are full of rot and a third of the external walls are salvageable but the rest are buggered."
Gould said they are awaiting confirmation from a couple who may be interested in purchasing and relocating the small original church building next to the new church.
He said the original church has a new front and back but the centre is still the original church built in the mid-1800s.
"It's not until you get in it and see the rafters and the windows and you see how special it is."
Gould said it is a real shame to see a beautiful old building demolished but they were hoping to develop something beneficial on the site to replace it.
"We see it as such a big footprint on the main street in Marton and Marton needs everything it can at the moment to brighten the main street so we're not sure what we're going to build on the site but whatever it is it's going to benefit the town, it's going to be something needed and nice."
Rangitikei District Mayor Andy Watson said the church was not heritage listed and resource consent was not needed for demolition.
"These two guys are local guys and one of the key drivers [for] them is the future of our district and Marton. I just applaud them."
The Marton Methodist Parish currently has 15 members who worship out of the Lutheran church in Marton.