NZ's oldest police station to go

HISTORICAL BUILDING: Police hold a function to bid farewell to the building.
HISTORICAL BUILDING: Police hold a function to bid farewell to the building.
HALLWAY: Inside the Lyttelton Police station. The entrance hallway.
HALLWAY: Inside the Lyttelton Police station. The entrance hallway.
REMINISCING: Inside the Lyttelton Police station, Sergeant Gary Manch stands in his old office.
REMINISCING: Inside the Lyttelton Police station, Sergeant Gary Manch stands in his old office.
BRICKS: Brick and rubble cover an office inside the Lyttelton Police station.
BRICKS: Brick and rubble cover an office inside the Lyttelton Police station.
STAIRS: Inside the Lyttelton Police station, Sergeant Gary Manch walks up the staircase.
STAIRS: Inside the Lyttelton Police station, Sergeant Gary Manch walks up the staircase.
FIREPLACE: A fireplace inside the Lyttelton Police station.
FIREPLACE: A fireplace inside the Lyttelton Police station.
CALENDAR: Inside the Lyttelton Police station. A calendar with the date February 2011 and brochures are untouched since the quake.
CALENDAR: Inside the Lyttelton Police station. A calendar with the date February 2011 and brochures are untouched since the quake.

The demolition of one of New Zealand's oldest police stations will begin next week.

The Lyttelton police station was damaged in the February 2011 earthquake and aftershocks. Police announced in December 2011 that the station would not be repaired due to extensive cracks in the main walls.

The station was built between 1880 and 1882, and opened in 1882, replacing an earlier structure. It is described as being designed in the Victorian Italianate style of the period.

CRACKED WALLS: A view of the cracks inside the Lyttelton Police Station, which will be demolished starting next week.
CRACKED WALLS: A view of the cracks inside the Lyttelton Police Station, which will be demolished starting next week.

When it closed in 2011, it was the oldest working police station in New Zealand.

Canterbury Police District Commander Superintendent Gary Knowles said it was sad day for police and residents.

"Lyttelton has lost so many of its historic buildings since the earthquakes of 2010 and 2011.

The station carried a lot of memories, Knowles said.

"It has been good to reflect on the history of the station, and to acknowledge the hundreds of dedicated police staff that have served the community from here over the past 130 years."

Knowles said police were still considering how to replace the station. One option was to share a building with other emergency services.

The site's future is undecided. The cell block at the rear of the station, which dates back to the 1920s, will remain until a decision is made.

Police will continue to operate from temporary buildings on the property until a permanent facility is established. 

The demolition of the station is expected to take six to eight weeks.

The Press