Ruru Station

Built by 1920



Ruru is an example of the simplest of railway stations, the shelter shed, the successor to the class 7 station building. Timber-framed and clad with rusticated weatherboards, it has a corrugated-iron roof and few embellishments, except perhaps the bargeboards. There are flush double doors on the front, entered at track level.



Little is known of Ruru’s history. It occupies a site on what was once a siding to Brownlee's Sawmill Co. mill at Moana. As early as 1903 there were requests for a shelter shed flag station at the sawmill siding. The General Manager turned this request down.  A station was provided at some stage but was apparently not in public use and by 1915 there were a number of petitions to open it for the public. The first acknowledgement that a shelter shed existed was 1920, and in 1923 public access to the station was finally granted.  It was to be treated as a flag station, and goods could not be consigned to Ruru because it remained a private siding. A photograph of the mill siding taken in 1927 shows the station building some 100 metres west of its present position.  The only known alteration is the provision of double doors where there was previously just an opening. By 1986 Ruru was surplus to requirements and in 1988 it closed as a passenger stop.  In more recent years it served as a shelter for track gangs,


Architectural Significance

While Ruru is a very simple structure, it has the virtue of being largely unaltered, a claim that can be made by few other railway buildings. In excellent condition and situated in a picturesque trackside location, it is probably the best remaining example of a category of station building that accounted for 60% of all stations. The purity of this elementary structure, a lean-to box, is a considerable part of its appeal.

Historical Significance

Ruru has no great historical claims in its own right, but as a representative of the many hundreds of shelter sheds that were once such a feature of the railway landscape it has much significance. Few such buildings now remain and Ruru is a classic example of the humblest of station buildings.

Townscape / Landscape Value

Ruru occupies a picturesque but narrow site between regenerating native bush and the track: the remnants of the sawmill are on the other side of the railway.
Ruru, Westland
Land Owner
The Crown
Building Owner
Territorial Authority
Grey District Council
Type   Vogel Class 7 shelter shed
Line   Midland Line (originally New Zealand Midland Railway)
RHTNZ   Category A
NZHPT   Category I
NZHPT   Number 7236
District Plan   Yes
Conservation Plan   No
Heritage Convenant   No
Designer   Unknown
Integrity   Excellent
Condition   Excellent
Landscape / Townscape Setting   At track level, in front of regenerating bush