[above – these older  buildings are a welcome change from the Art-Deco that everyone travels to see] Art-Deco gone mad and one of the main subjects of conversation, the other being the 1931 earthquake (3 February) when most of Napier and nearby Hastings were levelled by an earthquake killing 256 people. As a result of the quake the land was lifted 2.7 metres higher draining the harbour and making the lagoon a land mass.
During a guided tour one of the questions asked was about who owned the land mass recovered from the sea, the answer being that after a long legal battle, the Harbour Authority who went on to become one of the largest landlords in the area. Napier Airport now sits on the land area previously a lagoon.
Another question was about the short time it took to rebuild Napier (roughly 2 years for the main functions of the town) compared with problems re-building Christchurch. The guide explained that workmen poured into Napier since it was during the depression and also the Government funded or loaned the money for the work. There are problems currently with the re-building of Christchurch, see article here.