Police are investigating the cause of a crash in which a man ploughed through the corner of the old Manutahi Hotel in Patea early this morning.
Constable Campbell Coulton said the man, who was driving north from Wellington, lost control in the wet conditions and went straight through the side of the building about 12.50am.
"There's significant damage," Mr Coulton said.
"Two exterior walls are gone."
The hotel closed for business in March and is now a private dwelling.
Owner of the hotel William Boyd Rupapera said he thought the crash was an earthquake.
"I was up watching golf [on TV]," he said.
"My wife came down and asked me what it was and I said 'it was an earthquake', then I open the lounge door and the corner of the house was in the middle of the road."
Rupapera said he had spent most of the morning cleaning up the damage and was now waiting for the police to finish their investigation.
Coulton said alcohol was not a factor and the driver of the vehicle was not injured in the crash.
- © Fairfax NZ News