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Branch being lopped: BNZ's Rees St branch closes this month

By PHILIP CHANDLER

Bank of New Zealand’s pulling out of Queenstown’s Rees Street from April 28, 149 years after first moving there.

It’s instead installing a 24/7 lobby and ATM in nearby Camp St, beside McDonald’s,  leaving BNZ Whakatipu, at Frankton’s Five Mile, as its flagship Queenstown branch.

BNZ opened its first local agency in a canvas building in Ballarat St (now The Mall) in 1862, around the time Queenstown was established, before shifting into a neo-classical building in Rees St in 1873.

The building was demolished around the early 1980s, making way for the current premises designed by local architect John Blair.

In recent times, this branch has only opened to the public two days a week.

A BNZ spokesperson says customers aren’t visiting branches as much and a recent shift to reduced days was largely in relation to Covid, ‘‘but significant declines in customer visits have seen changes to operating hours over time’’.

Mountain Scene reported last year an Auckland-based investor had paid $17 million for the Rees St building.

scoop@scene.co.nz