Dunedin businessman Hayden Cawte is restoring the building at 120 Esk St in Invercargill to house the Southland office of his heritage and archaeological business, New Zealand Heritage Properties Ltd.
The company undertaking archaeology work on Invercargill’s CBD rebuild area is opening an office in the city in early 2021.
Dunedin-based New Zealand Heritage Properties Ltd, which specialises in heritage and archaeological work and services throughout the country, has bought the two-storeyed building at 120 Esk St in Invercargill.
NZHP’s owner Hayden Cawte said the company had been working in Southland for five years, with the CBD rebuild area being one of its big projects. It has a temporary office in the old Bank of New South Wales which backs onto the rebuild zone.
“There’s lots and lots happening in Invercargill, hence why we’re making a commitment to invest in the city and to have a permanent base here,” Cawte said.
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The company will have at least three permanent staff in Invercargill in a couple of weeks and up to four by the middle of 2021.
Its Esk St property is a heritage building, constructed in the early 1900s and undergoing major changes, such as earthquake strengthening, a new floor, wiring and plumbing, accommodation for two staff and a laboratory.
“There’s some great buildings down here, really good collection of different styles and different periods,” Cawte said.
“We thought we’d buy one, strengthen it ourselves, fit it out and use it.”
Meanwhile, another Invercargill site that NZHP worked on this year was on the corner of Don St and Dee St, where The Langlands Hotel is being built.
It made the news in July when more than a thousand human teeth were found by the archaeologists.
“A student I’ve been helping supervise is just finishing her Honours Dissertation at university on looking at specific elements of the teeth and what the dental health of Invercargill was like prior to 1900,” Cawte said.