Over 250 people died in the earthquake that struck the Hawke's Bay area of New Zealand on 3 February 1931. In the main towns of the area, Napier and Hastings, many buildings were destroyed as a direct result of the quake and the resulting fires.
In Hastings, the main Post Office with its clock tower was one of the buildings destroyed so, as part of the reconstruction, a clock tower was identified as one of the priorities.
A national competition in 1934 saw local architect, Stanley G Chaplin, provide the winning design which was constructed in 1935.
The Clock Tower also returned the sound of the old Port Office bells to the town. They were salvaged from the wreckage of the earthquake and installed in the newly constructed tower.Hastings Clock Tower, NZ Historic Places Trust website