One of Methven's oldest buildings, the former Mount Hutt Road Board Building has been officially recognised as historically significant, becoming what is believed to be only the second purpose-built building of its kind in the country to be included on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero.
The Road Board Building, which was constructed in 1879 on Methven's Main Street, was one of the first buildings in the town and is considered a rare surviving road board building from the era.
Heritage New Zealand Taonga Pouhere have assessed the 140-year-old building as having both historical and cultural significance, and have recognised the building as a category two historic place.
Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown says the the building's inclusion on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero is an important acknowledgement of its history and contribution to the district.
"This is a very special achievement for the Road Board Building and for the Methven community in particular. The building harks back to an important time in the district's roading development and maintenance, and it continues to be a well used and valued community facility today. We are excited that the Road Board Building now has an official status that recognises its significance."
The building was used as a dedicated road board office from 1879 right through until the board was disestablished in 1939. Since that time, it has been used for public meetings, worship, music and recreation activities. Today, it serves as a home for the Methven Toy Library.
The building is located on Ashburton District Council land and is included in the schedule of heritage buildings in the District Plan.
The Mount Cook Road Board Building (Former) at Burkes Pass is the only other known purpose-built building of this type to be included on the Heritage List/Rārangi Kōrero.
The full report on Mt Hutt Road Board Building (Former) is available on the Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga website