The Pig & Whistle Historic Pub
With a great atmosphere, historical charm and style, the Pig & Whistle is a popular venue for locals and tourists. Offering great food, a wide range of drinks, live bands every weekend and Hi def SKY digital the ‘Pig’ is the best place for your next meal, a catch up with friends or a private function.
History of the Building
The site on the northeast corner of the intersection of Haupapa and Tutanekai Streets was chosen by the Minister in Charge of Police, the Hon. Peter Fraser, for the new police station however this did not meet with general approval.
Although the residents of Rotorua agreed that a new station was necessary, there was a feeling that the site was too valuable commercially to be used for that purpose. Officialdom, however, remained unmoved and in August 1939 the tender of Hargreaves, Stapleton and Rolfe of Hamilton was accepted.
Construction began later that month but there was some delay in obtaining reinforcing steel and some of the interior fittings. The foundation stone was laid by Fraser in February 1940 and the station was finally opened on 26 August 1940 by Superintendent James Cummings, brother of Tim and Denis.
Under the specifications laid down by the Government Architect, JT Mair, the building was to be constructed with exterior walls 18 inches thick. Over 1000 cubic yards of concrete and 37 tons of reinforcing steel were used in the building, which was then covered with a veneer consisting of many thousands of bricks.
The entrance was flanked by two pillars supporting large electric lanterns, and above the doorway was the Royal Coat of Arms carved in stone by the well known sculptor. RO Gross of Auckland. An unusual feature was the plaster cast of Maori design, made in Rotorua, which ran around the outside of the station near the roof line.
Immediately inside the front door was a small lobby, with the public office to the left and the Sergeants office to the right. A corridor gave access to three more offices, two large filing cabinets and the toilets. The rear entrance opened to a porch, and allowed access to wood and coal storage – the building had eight open fireplaces. The upper floor housed three more offices, a bedroom, a dining room and a locker room.
The interior was finished in coloured and white plaster, with molded ceilings. The only flaw commented on was that no provision was made for the construction of new and adequate cells. The station remained in use until 1969 when the Police moved to Fenton Street and the Probation Services moved into the Tutanekai Street building.
The inclusion of Maori motifs on the building gave it an individuality and significance seldom found in other buildings. A great deal of thought went into choosing designs appropriate to the function of the building. They were not merely for adornment, but to interpret the role played by the Police in the wider community. Apparently the architecture of the new building was sufficiently different for it not to be immediately recognized as a Police Station.
“The new building produces a humorous side to life in the Thermal Regions, being the most imposing building in the main street, it had previously been mistaken by visitors as a Library, the Post Office, a Bank, the Tourist Office, and even one Sunday, as a place of worship. No one has yet mistaken it for a Pub” – New Zealand Police Journal, December 1940.
Information sourced from 'Policing Two Peoples: A History of Police in the Bay of Plenty 1867-1992,' Jinty Rorke, Tauranga Police, Wellington 1993. See our contact page for more information.
Our menu has a full selection of Entrees, Soups, Burgers and Mains as well as an extensive Snack Menu. Dishes include your favourites like Seafood Chowder, Fresh NZ Fish and Chips, Chicken Satay Burger, Lamb Burger, Fresh Salads, Pork Spare Ribs, Scotch Fillet Steak, Wedges and Curly Fries. Enjoy your meals in the comfortable atmosphere inside or venture into the garden bar to enjoy the great covered outdoor setting. Either way the Pig & Whistle is the ideal venue for lunch or dinner. Check out our full menu for a more information.
The bar at the Pig & Whistle offers a great range of beer, including Guiness, Stella Artois and Beck’s on tap, Kopiko Bay wines and great surroundings with native timber features throughout including a solid Rimu bar built by one of Rotorua’s top craftsman. The garden bar is surrounded by New Zealand ponga ferns to provide a taste of the New Zealand outdoors. All of this, along with our friendly bar staff make the Pig & Whistle a great place for anything from a quiet drink, to lunch and dinner or a fun night out with friends. The bar is open from 11.30am until late seven days a week, check out our beers on tap and other beverages that the Pig & Whistle offer.
The Pig & Whistle offers a full menu from 11.30am with last orders taken at 10.00pm seven days a week.
Private Functions – Private upstairs bar
An ideal place for your party or function, 21st or business gathering. With full Bar facilities and catering services available you can tailor make your function to meet your budget and we’ll do the rest. See venue hire for more information.
What’s on at the Pig
- Live Sport
- Live Bands
We are happy to call you a taxi to get you home safely. Just ask at the bar.
Geyser Community Foundation
The Pig and Whistle is pleased to support the Geyser Community Foundation. Geyser is unique in Rotorua in that it is the only charitable organisation established solely to seek legacies and gifts from throughout the community, invest those funds and distribute them back into the Rotorua community.
We hope you will think seriously about giving to Geyser and supporting our community too.