Your browser version is no longer supported, so you may experience issues while using this site.
Please upgrade to a current browser to enjoy the best experience.

Media release

Chester Street heritage homes rebuild complete

31 March, 2016

Two Christchurch homeowners are thrilled to have their heritage properties rebuilt and returned to them after they were destroyed in the 2011 Canterbury earthquake.

The two properties were heritage homes on Chester Street East, a special amenity area of Christchurch.

“The new houses are a modern interpretation of what used to be there,” said homeowner Mark Seymour. “They’re very sympathetic to the historic character of the homes, and to the other historic houses that remain on the street.”

The Vero Insurance team worked together with the owners, architects, builders and the Christchurch City Council to ensure that the houses would reflect the character of Chester Street.

“The council requirement was that we shouldn’t seek to imitate what was there before – which would have been difficult to do anyway,” said homeowner Alister James. “The new build needed to complement the surrounding heritage environment, and that’s what we’ve done.”

The two homes were demolished by Civil Defence after the February 2011 earthquake because they were too dangerous to leave standing.

“Because the homes shared walls, it made the process a lot easier that Vero insured both of them,” said Jimmy Higgins, Executive General Manager of Claims at Vero Insurance. “We were able to put the customers in touch and work together with them."

Vero brought in an architect who specialises in historic housing, and used the builder recommended by the homeowners.

“We worked closely with the homeowners to build something they wanted, we thought it was important to retain the historic feel,” said Jimmy Higgins.

The timing of the rebuild suffered a number of setbacks, including continuing aftershocks, and obtaining resource and building consents.

“We were able to work closely with our builders and architects to ensure the rebuild would be faithful to the special character of the homes and although it’s taken longer than we wanted, I’m very happy with the final result,” said Mr Seymour.

The homes have been entered in the Future Heritage section of the Canterbury Heritage Awards.

Photograph taken by Geoff Sloan, The Star.

Media enquiries

For all media enquiries please contact:

Bridget Catchpole

Bridget Catchpole

Call Call027 215 1292 or EmailEmail Bridget

Share icon

Share this page 

Keep reading

Media release • 6 November 2015

Kiwis now have access to lower cost options for credit cards, travel, health, car, home and contents insurance with today’s launch of Warehouse Money, The Warehouse’s new financial services brand.

Warehouse Money products and services will be available for purchase online, via post and over the phone, and customers will be able to get all the information they need to know at any The Warehouse store.

Read more


The information in this article has been compiled from various sources and is intended to be factual information only. It is not personal advice and any description of an insurance product or service is not a complete description of all the terms and conditions applicable to the particular insurance product or service. You should consult a qualified adviser for advice on whether the information in this article is suitable for your personal situation and needs. While we take reasonable steps to ensure that the information contained in this article is accurate and up-to-date, it is subject to change without notice. Vero Insurance New Zealand and its related companies does/do not accept any responsibility or liability in connection with your use of or reliance on this article.