The Napier Borough Council relinquished control under the Municipal Corporations Act 1920, and the Government appointed two Commissioners to oversee and manage the town and its reconstruction, with the Napier Reconstruction Committee. They were John Saxon Barton, a solicitor and Lachlan Bain Campbell, an engineer.
An Earthquake Relief Fund was opened by the Prime Minister and eventually reached $800,000. A Government Grant of $20,000 built Tin Town. $3,000,000 was given by the Government in the form of loans.
The Associated Architects
E A Williams, who favored the Art Deco style.
Finch & Westerholm, which designed mainly in the Spanish Mission style.
J A Louis Hay, who usually designed buildings inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright, and occasionally Louis Sullivan.
Natusch & Sons, whose work tended to reflect the growing modern movement.
The four architectural practises in Napier in 1931 banded together to share facilities and bring a unity of purpose to the task of rebuilding the town, working in shifts around the clock. But they continued (except in rare cases) to design the buildings individually. These firms were:
Other architects who worked in Napier in the 1930s were J T Watson who arrived in 1934 and become Borough Architect, and architects from other cities, chiefly Wellington, who were retained by banks, insurance companies and hotel chains to design their buildings throughout New Zealand.
The Inner Harbour
The Napier area tilted upwards, a maximum of 7 feet (just over 2 meters), and 2230 hectares (5575 acres) were raised to sea level. Since then, apparently, the area has continued to creep up at the rate of 1cm per year, so that it is now 60cms (or two feet) above sea level.
The Hastings Carnival to celebrate the rebuilding was held in November 1932. The New Napier Carnival was held in January 1933, by which time most of the main reconstruction was completed or nearly so.
The Marine Parade
The development of the Parade had begun before the Earthquake. The baths were built in 1909, and the Paddling Pool in 1914. Later a children's playground was built north of the baths. The retaining wall nearest the sea was built just before the earthquake.
After the quake, the vision was extended and the area between the sea wall and the new retaining wall was filled with rubble and gardens created. The architectural features were built between 1934 and 1939.