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Grant to strengthen iconic Lambretta’s Café

Ministers’ release: 7 August 2017

A $94,700 Government grant from the Earthquake Upgrade Incentive Programme, Heritage EQUIP, will strengthen the historic building which is home to Nelson’s iconic Lambretta’s Café, Building and Construction Minister Dr Nick Smith and Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Maggie Barry announced today.

Exterior image of Lambretta’s Café is courtesy of Lambretta’s Café

“Nelson is of similar earthquake risk to Christchurch and it is inevitable we will one day be hit with a significant quake. New building laws that came into effect on 1 July this year will require we either upgrade or replace those buildings that pose a significant risk to life. We do not want to lose all of our heritage, so the Government is providing assistance grants to help retain some of these iconic buildings that help give our cities character,” Dr Smith says.

“I am delighted this first grant from the latest funding round is going towards strengthening 204 Hardy Street, in the heart of Nelson. This 61-year-old former New Zealand Insurance building is recognised by both Heritage New Zealand and the Nelson City Council as an important part of the city’s architectural history. It’s great to be able to partner with the owners, the Van Dyke Family Trust, in this significant upgrade that will make the café and central city safer.”

“The Government recognises the very large cost of upgrading significant heritage buildings and established this fund to help retain some of the buildings that define the character of cities like Nelson,” Ms Barry says.

“This is the first of a number of announcements of strengthening projects in this funding round and with the third round closing on 21 August, building owners have further opportunity to make an application.

“Earlier this year the National Tobacco Company Building in Napier and the former Union Steamship Company store in Dunedin were the first recipients of the fund.

“The strengthening plan for this building was designed by structural engineers Andrew Melvin King-Turner Limited. Funding is for stage one of the work, including tying back the parapets and strengthening the upper floor columns. Construction work will not interrupt Lambretta’s café operations on the ground floor, and the strengthened upper floor space will be available to a new tenant.”

More information about Heritage EQUIP, including application forms and full criteria, is available at:


Updated on 11th August 2017