On 16 December 1942, the Christchurch City Council took over the construction of the uncompleted Sign of the Takahe.
Harry Ell (Christchurch City Coucillor 1903 & 1917 – 1919 and New Zealand Member of Parliament 1899 – 1919) had always been passionate about Christchurch’s natural heritage. He envisioned a network of scenic reserves across the Port Hills, linked together with a summit road with rest houses along the way.
Unfortunately Harry died before his project was completed. With just under 20 rest houses planned, only 4 – The Sign of the Kiwi, Bellbird, Packhorse and Takahe were realised.
For a more in depth look at Harry Ell, please check out the following link: http://www.peelingbackhistory.co.nz/harry-ell-1862-1934/
*image courtesy of The Canterbury Public Library http://christchurchcitylibraries.com/ – File Reference CCL PhotoCD 1, IMG0077