Breath of life for tourism as Te Puia Springs Hotel changes hands

New owner sees great potential for tourism in historic hotel.

New owner sees great potential for tourism in historic hotel.

IN NEW HANDS: Te Puia Springs Hotel has a new owner, who sees great potential to restore it as a tourist attraction. Picture by Liam Clayton

ONE of the East Coast’s remaining historic hotels has changed hands. Shiu Liu, known as Job, is the new owner of Te Puia Springs Hotel.

The registered electrician and engineer told The Gisborne Herald that he and his family emigrated from Da Lian, in north-eastern China, to New Zealand in 2003.

Job first travelled to Te Puia five years ago.

“I liked the area, the culture and the people. I liked being here,” he said.

He came back three more times and saw the “for sale” sign on the two-storey hotel, listed as a Historic Place under the Act.

Job had a look through the hotel, noted for its dining room and extensive accommodation, as well as the bar favoured by locals.

Negotiations began with vendor Knox Toheriri, and now both are smiling. Mr Toheriri had bought the hotel in 2000.
Job sees potential in the hotel for tourism and plans to continue employing locals, with Waipiro Bay resident Mr Toheriri staying on to help out.

The two-storey hotel has operated since 1934, though it was built as an accommodation house at the end of World War 1.

Thirty years ago there were seven hotels on the East Coast: at Te Araroa, Tikitiki, Ruatoria, Te Puia Springs, Tokomaru Bay, Tolaga Bay and Tatapouri.

Fire destroyed the Te Araroa, Tikitiki and Tatapouri hotels, and Cyclone Bola destroyed the Tokomaru Bay Hotel, replaced by a new Te Puka Tavern.

Te Puia Springs Hotel is one of two historic hotels remaining on the Coast.

ONE of the East Coast’s remaining historic hotels has changed hands. Shiu Liu, known as Job, is the new owner of Te Puia Springs Hotel.

The registered electrician and engineer told The Gisborne Herald that he and his family emigrated from Da Lian, in north-eastern China, to New Zealand in 2003.

Job first travelled to Te Puia five years ago.

“I liked the area, the culture and the people. I liked being here,” he said.

He came back three more times and saw the “for sale” sign on the two-storey hotel, listed as a Historic Place under the Act.

Job had a look through the hotel, noted for its dining room and extensive accommodation, as well as the bar favoured by locals.

Negotiations began with vendor Knox Toheriri, and now both are smiling. Mr Toheriri had bought the hotel in 2000.
Job sees potential in the hotel for tourism and plans to continue employing locals, with Waipiro Bay resident Mr Toheriri staying on to help out.

The two-storey hotel has operated since 1934, though it was built as an accommodation house at the end of World War 1.

Thirty years ago there were seven hotels on the East Coast: at Te Araroa, Tikitiki, Ruatoria, Te Puia Springs, Tokomaru Bay, Tolaga Bay and Tatapouri.

Fire destroyed the Te Araroa, Tikitiki and Tatapouri hotels, and Cyclone Bola destroyed the Tokomaru Bay Hotel, replaced by a new Te Puka Tavern.

Te Puia Springs Hotel is one of two historic hotels remaining on the Coast.

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Marion Fleming - 10 days ago
That's so great. I remember staying there quite often while working up around the East Cape.

Linda Campbell - 10 days ago
I miss the old hot pool at the back. Went there loads as a kid. Fond memories.

Elizabeth Reedy - 10 days ago
I was born there, Te Puia Springs is a beautiful place.

Susie - 10 days ago
Please make beautiful hotspots like Hanmer.

Nita Farmer - 10 days ago
I was born in Te Puia Springs, that's really exciting news - gives Coasties a new lease on life and it's a wonderful place to stop before heading off to the next town. Go TP.

Wendie - 10 days ago
Fantastic . . . just hope that Job opens up the hot pools again.

Shirley Parata - 9 days ago
Shiu Liu, absolutely fantastic. The old hotel needs some TLC and to be shared and admired by visitors from far and wide. There is a thriving tourist industry out there looking for unique places to visit and stay. To develop the hot pool area would certainly be an added attraction. Good to know this historical site has a bright future ahead.

Addy johnson - 8 days ago
Miss the old place . . . been a while. Must make my way back there soon for a holiday.

Maria - 8 days ago
To see these lovely old taverns still kept in pristine condition for us all to enjoy is wonderful. A blessing to visit - hopefully soon.

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