The Three Kings Pump house

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Mt Roskill Road Board formed a water and gas committee in 1899, and from 1902 to 1915, the district’s water supply was obtained from the Manukau Water Trust’s reservoir at One Tree Hill.

In 1911, increasing development in the area necessitated a local water source. The road board called in Rev Harry Mason, a sought-after local water diviner, to locate a site in Three Kings that would provide a good water supply. A borehole at the reserve at Three Kings found water 21m underground, and test bores produced about 3785 litres of water per hour. The board confirmed this as the site for a new municipal pumping station.

The road board’s engineer, J Dawson, designed the waterworks facility and construction was approved in 1915. The Three Kings Pumphouse was formally opened on March 27 1915 by John Peet, the road board chairman.

The significant typhoid outbreak in Mount Albert in 1922, thought to have been caused by sewage contaminated water, spelled the end of the pump house. Schools in the area were forced to close and local residents were advised to boil all milk and water prior to consumption. At the same time, as a precautionary measure, the public health authorities ordered the closure of the pump house.

The pump house building later became Mt Roskill's first community hall. A kitchen, ladies’ cloakroom and porch were added to the northern wall and it became a popular spot for dances, parties, social gatherings and local theatrical productions.

During the 1950s the hall was used by the Auckland Boxing Club, and the interior was altered again for its purposes.

In 1958, the Mt Roskill Municipal Band was granted sole use of the pumphouse building. Further alterations took place during 1958-1959. The kitchen to the south was demolished, and the ladies’ cloakroom was converted into a kitchen. The eastern gable circular window was cemented and plastered over. A ceiling of slatted timber was nailed to the underside of the kauri trusses to improve acoustics for band practice

The building was restored by Mt Roskill Borough Council in 1988 and today it is in use by the Auckland City Brass.

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