Akaroa has an important place in the history of policing on the South Island. The town’s first constables were appointed in 1840 when the Chief Magistrate, Michael Murphy, arrived on the Britomart to assert British sovereignty in the area and convene a court of law immediately prior to the arrival of the French settlers (see Green’s Point Monument).
By 1863 Akaroa had a police building and stables behind the town’s Post Office (see Former Post Office). In 1900, the Government agreed to provide Akaroa with a new police station on a new site.
This simple weatherboard building was erected in 1904 as the office and lock-up for Akaroa’s new police station. The Town Hall (see Former Town Hall) was moved sideways to clear the site for the new police station. John James Walker was the builder. A larger police residence (since demolished) was built alongside the surviving building, which included an office, a constable’s room and two cells. Police stables, behind the station, were demolished in 2002. After being vacated by the police, the police house was demolished, but the office and lock-up escaped that fate and has been used since as a residence and for commercial purposes.