Building shipped to Pacific Islands to dodge demolition

A building is being shipped 2500km away to the Pacific Islands to avoid demolition in the City Rail Link works.

The 25-year-old building in Auckland's Beresford Square has been used as a cafe, wine bar and information hub and will now get a new home on the island of Niue as a tourist cafe. 

City Rail Link is the $4.4 billion project to upgrade Auckland’s train network with twin tunnels under the city and two new stations.

The building is being moved to make way for Karangahape Station.

Link Alliance deputy project manager Dale Burtenshaw said moving the distinctive building was a win-win outcome for everyone.

"A well-known destination in the K Rd area is preserved and gets a new life, and we remain on track with our construction programme," he said.

Link Alliance is building the tunnels and stations for City Rail Link Ltd.

In 1995, Rob Roughan constructed the building on the site of a turning circle for Auckland’s old trams.

Roughan, who is of Niuean heritage, is now at the centre of the building’s preservation.

He intends to reassemble it as a cafe on a vanilla plantation in Niue to help promote tourism.

"Niue is home to fewer than 2000 people and tourism is an important money earner for the island," he said.

"The number of visitors is growing, and the hope is that my old cafe will be a nostalgic reminder for some of them."

Sections of the building are being packed into a container at the Beresford Square site before it is shipped to Niue.

Saving the Beresford Square building is part of an active sustainability policy adopted by the Link Alliance.

In 2019, a 19th century kauri cottage was moved to a heritage site in Waikato on the back of a truck so it wouldn’t be destroyed by City Rail Link works.