7 Aug 2022

Rolleston House - back by public demand

From Standing Room Only, 2:38 pm on 7 August 2022
Rolleston House

Rolleston House Photo: supplied


Kiri Jarden

Kiri Jarden Photo: supplied

It was destined to be sold off by the Christchurch city council -  but a last minute change of heart means the heritage-listed Rolleston House is to be converted into a community arts venue.

It's getting a new name too, Toi Auaha.

When the council considered getting rid of the over 100-year-old building, local artists lobbied to keep it.  They worked with the council's Principal Arts Advisor Kiri Jarden, who heads the city's ambitious Arts Strategy Toi Ōtautahi.

Rolleston House was built in the late 1890s, and for most of its life it's been used as a hostel.

But Kiri Jarden tells Lynn Freeman that the building's been empty since the Youth Hostel Association closed its doors in 2019.   It had been due to be sold off before its last-minute reprieve.