Waihi’s historic Cornish Pumphouse was ‘on the move’ in 2006!

The Cornish Pumphouse was built in 1904 to house steam-driven pumping machinery to dewater the underground Martha Mine that operated from the 1880s to 1952. The steam machinery was used until 1914, when it was replaced by electricity. During the 1930s the machinery was stripped out and the building became derelict.

Historic underground mine workings threatened the stability of ground beneath the pumphouse and investigations from 2004 concluded that the only way to protect the historic building was to relocate it to a safe site. In 2006 internal bracing was installed to strengthen the structure and earthworks were carried out to construct the relocation causeway.

In an acclaimed feat of engineering, this iconic building – weighing 1840 tonnes and standing three storeys high, was moved in its entirety to its present site during the third quarter of 2006. It was shifted on teflon-coated concrete beams to a new site 300 metres away.