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Tauranga Fire Station

Est. 1957.  The Great Fire of 1881 in Tauranga saw almost the entire northern end of Tauranga burnt to the ground, but it was not until 1912 that the George V Coronation Fire Station (aka Durham Street Fire Station) on the corner of Wharf and Durham Streets was completed (now Baycourt). This new Tauranga Fire Station in Cameron Road opened in 1957. 

Map No. 4.
193 Cameron Road
Tauranga, 3110.

About the Fire Station - it took from 1881 to 1912 for Tauranga to get a fire Station - summary by Stephanie Smith
It took many years, numerous public meetings, and several serious fires for a proper fire brigade to be established in Tauranga, though the need for such a service was talked about from the 1860s onwards. After almost the whole north end of the township was burnt down in 1881, more strenuous efforts were made to form a brigade. Two fire engines arrived in 1882 and volunteers were called for, with limited success at first. However, the second meeting managed to muster ten men. The Fire Inspector appointed was Mr Asher Asher, an ideal candidate as he had been the first superintendent of the Auckland Fire Brigade in 1857. Later in 1882 the fire bell arrived, and a stand was built for it on the south west corner of Durham Street and Spring Street.

The Brigade's troubles were not over, as cost cutting by the Borough Council caused the volunteers to resign en masse in 1888. It was not until later that year that Asher Asher was reappointed as Fire Inspector and allowed to enrol six men, who were to be paid one shilling and sixpence for each monthly practice, two shillings for the first hour in case of fire, and one shilling and sixpence for subsequent hours. In 1895 and in 1900 there were more clashes with the Council over funds, resulting in resignations and ultimately in disaster, as in 1902 the Government Buildings, a large and ambitious wooden structure, was destroyed by fire.

Durham St Fire Station build in 1912 by Joseph Brain Tauranga Heritage Collection 0375/08
Tauranga Hotel burning down 1936 - Tauranga City Libraries Photo 08-101

Even so, it was not until 1912 that the George V Coronation Fire Station, built by Jospeh Brain of Brain Watkins House (#3), was completed on the corner of Wharf and Durham Streets. That was not the end of dramatic fires in the town of Tauranga: in 1916 eleven shops and the Commercial Hotel on The Strand were burnt down. In February 1936 it was the turn of the Tauranga Hotel. However, by then there was at least an efficient functioning alarm system, and a well-established and competent brigade of firefighters.

The present fire station on Cameron Road was opened in June 1957.

Bellamy, A.C. (1982). Fire Brigade. In Tauranga 1882-1982, Tauranga: Tauranga City Council (pp.94-99).

Note: The unmounted postcard print showing the Tauranga Fire Station in Durham Street. Two story masonry building built Joseph Brain and completed in 1912. He also built the 60 foot timber framed tower. "1911 Coronation King George V" sign on facade. "Fire Station" above door. Ten firemen lined up beside wheeled fire apparatus with ladder and hose. Handwritten on reverse "Tauranga Fire Brigade". The donor, Elsie Hulse, was the daughter of Thomas Edward Price. Price opened a studio in Tauranga in 1897 and it is possible that this image was taken by him.  In 1936 The Tauranga Hotel burnt down - the following image is a record of that time

Tauranga Fire Station built in 1957 is still in use to this day on Cameron Road.

The new fire station in Cameron Road was designed by architect Norman Jenkins in 1957 and built on what was the site of the Milne family home. It is an example low-key modernism common post World War II.