Off the Farm - National Bank Building Paparoa Circa 1914

Now home to the Sahara Restaurant in Paparoa. This building won an award for its restoration. A few stories go with the former National Bank. One of them involved a bank clerk named David Dafaur who went missing at nearby Pahi in 1912 before the erection of this particular building. He and a friend had been at the Pahi Hotel before heading off back to Paparoa. His friend fell off his horse and had died from a broken neck. David Dafaur had returned to the Pahi Hotel in a state of shock and for some reason had gone to the nearby wharf where his hat blew into the water. He had dived in after it leaving his bank keys behind on the wharf which were found. He was feared drowned and some suspicion was raised in regard to the finances at the bank. The accounts were found to be in good order. David Dafaur was found a day later sitting on the door step of the bank soaking wet and looking the worse for wear. He recovered later in hospital in Auckland before serving in World War 1 returning later to New Zealand. The Kauri Museum were handed a photo of David Dafaur recently. The entire affair of David Dafaurs' disappearance was headlined in the papers of the time as "The Paparoa Mystery". Such were the nature of those times.


  1. Gosh I didn't know that information. Apparently the building that I work in (you know the one) had the bank manager living in the flat below and he hung himself down there. Spooky!

  2. Interesting building -- is that a triangular site? Sort of like the Ponsonby post office. Any idea who the architect was?

  3. I'm not sure on the architect but what I'll do is go onto the Sahara site and check the history info they have. Think was a standard design of the time. It is kind of triangular.

    Amy....that's really scary......shiver I'll have to look into that!!!

  4. Hey! NZHPT have registered it! Here's the info.


    It was designed by the Dargaville architect and Hobson County Engineer, Horace Hammond, and was probably built by W. Heron (or Herron.) Tres cool.

  5. Ah ha!!! We must have had the same thoughts there Ice. I'll put in the link onto the Building. Cool!!!! I'll have to do more digging.......