The Sign of the Takahe on Hackthorne Road is a well-known landmark in Christchurch and is highly significant both architecturally and aesthetically as an example of 20th century Neo-Gothic romanticism.

Sign of the Takahe and Setting, 200 Hackthorne Road, CashmereSign of the Takahe and setting, 200 Hackthorne Road, Cashmere

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Heritage status

District Plan: Highly significant.

Heritage New Zealand: Category 1.

Conservation plan


Authenticity High.
Current status Closed, safe to enter.
Repair status Repaired.
Geographic level of significance Metropolitan.
Community Board Spreydon-Cashmere.
Restrictions Refer to legislation and guiding documentation below. 
Land title

Lot 63 DP4030, CB293/34, Fee Simple, 96m2.

Lot 16 DP6163, CB374/164, Fee Simple, 2023m2.

District plan zoning Open Space Community Zone.
Pre-earthquake use Commercial, restaurant and café.

The most significant of Harry Ell’s rest houses built in stages from 1918 - 1948. Financial difficulty, the depression and war delayed completion, the Council took over the Neo Gothic style building in 1942.


The building has been repaired and strengthened, there are no identified risks.

Meets new building standard >67% Yes. The building has been repaired and strengthened.
Environment Canterbury hazardous activities and industries list information (HAIL) Not listed as a HAIL site (as of December 2017).
Reports available

Estimated minimum cost to restore




District plan heritage status - highly significant

To be categorised as meeting the level of ‘Highly Significant’, the historic heritage shall: meet at least one of the heritage values in Appendix link)(external link)(external link) at a highly significant level; and be of high overall significance to the Christchurch District (and may also be of significance nationally or internationally), because it conveys important aspects of the Christchurch District’s cultural and historical themes and activities, and thereby makes a strong contribution to the Christchurch District’s sense of place and identity; and have a high degree of authenticity (based on physical and documentary evidence); and have a high degree of integrity (particularly whole or intact heritage fabric and heritage values).

Meets new building standard >67%

% NBS is essentially the assessed structural standard achieved in the building (taking into consideration all reasonably available information) compared with requirements for a new building and expressed as a percentage. There are several steps involved in determining %NBS, as outlined in the following sections.

A %NBS of less than 34 (the limit in the legislation is actually one third) means that the building is assessed as potentially earthquake prone in terms of the Building Act and a more detailed evaluation of it will typically be required.

A %NBS of 34 or greater means that the building is regarded as outside the requirements of the earthquake prone building provisions of the Building Act. No further action on this building will be required by law. However, if %NBS is less than 67 it will still be considered as representing an unacceptable risk and further work on it is recommended.

A %NBS of 67 or greater means that the building is not considered to be a significant earthquake risk.

Environment Canterbury hazardous activities and industries list information

Environment Canterbury manages information about land that is, or has been, associated with the use, storage or disposal of hazardous substances. This is called the Hazardous Activities and Industries List (HAIL). The HAIL has 53 different activities, and includes land uses such as fuel storage sites, orchards, timber treatment yards, landfills, sheep dips and any other activities where hazardous substances could cause land and water contamination. 

Location map

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