Motueka South School

Our Place

The Clock Tower

Room 2 is a Y2/3 class at Motueka South School.


We went for a walk to explore what was at "our end of town". We decided that the Clock Tower was a marker for the South end of Motueka, so we headed off to see what we could find. When we got to the Clock Tower we discovered there was no plaque telling us information about it. We decided to focus our Inquiry work on the Clock Tower because we wanted to know why it was so special to Motueka and we had lots of "I wonder" questions.

We came back to school and painted some pictures of some of the main places at the south end of town using water colours.

Daniel's Painting of the Community Hospital.

Daniel's Painting of the Community Hospital

The Clock Tower by Charlie.

The Clock Tower by Charlie

Up the Garden Path by Ellen.

Up the Garden Path by Ellen

We brainstormed in our groups ideas about where we could source our information about the clock tower. We came up with lots of ideas. We wrote letters in our groups to The Guardian newspaper asking the Motueka Community for information.


Nigel Duff from the Clock Tower Trust came to talk to us after seeing our letter. He gave us some old photos to look at. It was very interesting and we learnt alot.

We worked in groups to present our ideas on large clock towers that we painted.

They had to fix the clock tower because its roof was blowing off. A few years ago they wanted to knock it down with a bulldozer because they thought it was too old and the glass was broken. Lots of people didn’t want that too happen so they formed a Clock Tower Trust and bought the land.

What used to be there? Why is the Clock Tower on that corner?

Gerhard Husheer owned the Tobacco Factory that used to be there. He loved Motueka so much he decided to build something that all the people would enjoy and use. The Clock Tower was built in 1950. It was an illuminating clock and is believed to be the last clock of its type built in New Zealand.

Gerhard Husheer sold the buildings and land to the Rothmans Tobacco Company and they put a Rothmans sign on it. That was why it was known as the Rothmans Clock Tower.

anguswork. clocktower.

Why is it that colour?

The clock tower was sandy brown when it was first built. Then the Rothmans Company changed it to blue because they were their company colours. The Clock Tower Trust changed it to orange and blue. They looked at lots of different colours before they decided on the blue and orange. They choose orange because it is really bright. They wanted it to be bright so that it would stand out even on a dull rainy day. Nigel’s daughter made a plan. They copied it. They made it beautiful by putting flowers around it that matched the colours of the clock.

Why did they restore it?

The Clock Towers roof was leaking and the glass blocks at the top were broken. Birds were nesting up in the blocks. The roof was blowing off too. They put new blocks in and they put a new roof on and a computer to tell the time. Some people thought it couldn’t be fixed and wanted to knock it down. We are glad they fixed it.


What is the Clock Tower made out of?

It is made out of concrete. It is 11 metres tall. There is a computer to tell the time inside the tower. It used to have glass panels up the side that used to light up in different colours. Unfortunately it didn’t stay like that for very long. Silly people threw rocks at the glass and broke the panels. They were soon replaced by solid blocks. Now the panels are used for advertising to help raise the money needed to pay for the Clock Tower to be restored.

Who looks after the Clock Tower?

A few years ago some people wanted to knock it down with a bulldozer because they thought it was too old and the glass was broken. Lots of people didn’t want that to happen so they formed a Clock Tower Trust and bought the land. The Clock Tower Trust bought the land for $150,000. It is a lot of money! They put on a dirt bike show with Josh Coppins to raise money to fix the clock tower and to give it a new paint job.

We learnt a lot about working together in a group as well as learning lots about the Clock Tower!