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Preservation and refurbishment of Grade II listed historic apartment building in Wellington

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Seismic strengthening and refurbishment of Grade II listed building reveals brief for original roofer using high-grade Neuchatel waterproofing in 1925

Preservation and refurbishment of Grade II listed historic apartment building in Wellington


The high quality of workmanship demanded by developers in 1925 has been brought to light during an extensive refurbishment and seismic strengthening programme in Wellington.

The restoration work has been carried out on the Kate Sheppard apartment building, which is listed with the Historic Places Trust (Category 2) and in the Wellington City Council plan. Neuchatel Construction Waterproofing, the firm contracted to replace and match the original Neuchatel mastic asphalt roof, has a copy of the 1925 contract.

Principal Brian Mohan says it is intriguing to read the document, which specifies Neuchatel for the roof of the two-storey portion and the upper yard.

"The asphalt is to be turned up parapets, walls, chimneys etc at least 4 inches and let into ¾-inch groove in concrete," the contract says. "The whole of the work is to be carried out in a workmanlike manner and to the entire satisfaction of the City Engineer. All to be left thoroughly watertight."

This time round, Neuchatel replaced all the old roofing with new Neuchatel mastic asphalt roofing, installed by Mohan Roofing Services, Auckland, the licensed installer for the product in New Zealand.


"In all these years, the product and method of application has not changed greatly – it is still a tried-and-true waterproofing material ideally suited to this application," says Mohan.

The current building owners say they are thrilled the team was able to match the original roofing material and restore the roof's look and function.

For more details, contact Neuchatel Construction Waterproofing or Mohan Roofing Services, PO Box 303101, North Harbour, Auckland 0751, phone (09) 414 4343. Email:

First published date: 20 August 2014

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