Historic Place Category 1
Lot 1 DP 32468 (CT NA35B/34), North Auckland Land District
Far North District
Built in 1832-1836, the Stone Store is New Zealand's oldest intact stone building and its earliest surviving warehouse. It was the most substantial building in the early Church Missionary Society (CMS) settlement at Kerikeri, which had been founded in 1819 by the Reverend Samuel Marsden (1765-1838). Located close to the shoreline, the structure was built as a central storage depot for the many CMS missions in the region, providing storage for food and other items produced by the organisation or imported from overseas. It is a large and impressive building, with two main storeys and an attic lit by dormer windows. Designed in a Georgian style by the Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs (1800-1883), the structure was built of local basalt, and Sydney and Parramatta sandstone from New South Wales. It was constructed by a Maori workforce and mission craftsmen, overseen by the storekeeper James Kemp (1797-1872). Of sufficient size to increase missionary mana, its design was altered during construction to include a clocktower and bell. The store can be seen as one of the pivotal buildings in the settlement and wider CMS network, regulating its time, supplies and barter with local Maori.
Too valuable to knock down after the mission went into decline, the building continued to be used for storage for the rest of the nineteenth century. In 1842-1844, it was partly used to store the library of Bishop George Selwyn (1809-1878) as he attempted to establish an Anglican college at nearby Te Waimate. It then housed British soldiers, and subsequently ammunition, during the first New Zealand - or Northern - War (1845-1846). After the mission ceased to exist in 1848, the building was leased to a succession of tenants by the CMS, and then by the Kemp family after they took over ownership from 1893. The structure displayed an adaptability required in colonial, rural communities, being variously used as a kauri gum store, 'native boys' school', post office, general store and occasional 'grog shop'. It was also employed as a polling booth, and venue for Boy Scout meetings and boxing matches during the early 1900s. In 1958 the building became one of the first self-service shops in the country, increasingly reliant for its business on the tourist trade as the historical importance of Kerikeri was promoted. Although the clocktower had been removed at an early stage, much of the rest of the early fabric of the building was retained through these changes. The building has been recently restored by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga, and is open to the public.
The Stone Store is of national and international significance as the oldest surviving commercial building in New Zealand, demonstrating the early stages of the country's connection with international trade. It is the oldest remaining building linked with the import of goods from overseas, the storage of produce grown in New Zealand and the bartering of goods with Maori. It has great importance for its associations with the CMS, being an integral part of the organisation's supply network and the most imposing building in Kerikeri - the second mission station founded by the CMS in this country. The building is nationally significant as the earliest intact building in New Zealand to demonstrate colonial adaptation to the use of local stone. It is internationally significant as an early recipient of masonry imported from Australia. It has considerable value for its associations with early Maori-Pakeha relations, whose nature is demonstrated through the building's location, construction and initial function, as well as its subsequent use as a school. The building has important associations with the first New Zealand War, and prominent early colonial personalities such as James Kemp and Bishop George Selwyn. It is the earliest surviving structure to have borne a public clock in New Zealand, an important step in the history of timekeeping and the regulation of daily life. It contributes to our understanding of social and commercial life in later colonial New Zealand and the Kerikeri area in particular, with especially strong links to the kauri gum trade. The Stone Store enjoys high public esteem for its associations with early colonial settlement, and Kerikeri's role as a cradle of nationhood through the fostering of contact between Maori and missionaries. The building has considerable aesthetic qualities due to its appearance and setting, and is important for its long association with Kerikeri Mission House, the oldest building in the country. As a public monument, it is valuable for its educational potential, and is further significant as part of an extensive early colonial landscape that includes buried archaeological sites, standing buildings, and natural features such as the historic shoreline.
Registration covers the structure, its fixtures and finishes. It also includes recent modifications. The building may stand on top of earlier saw pits.
- Original Construction: 1832 (circa) - 1836 (circa)
- Modification: 1844 (circa)
- Modification: 1851 (circa)
- Modification - Tower removed: pre-1858
- Modification: 1865
- Modification: 1888 - 1890
- Modification: 1929 (circa)
- Modification: 1950 - 1959
- Reconstruction: 1978 (circa) - 1980
- Modification: 1990 (circa)
- Modification: 1996 (circa) - 1998 (circa)
- Frances Porter (ed.) Historic Buildings of New Zealand: North Island (2nd edn.), Auckland, 1983
- Gavin McLean, No Continuing City: A History of the Stone Store Kerikeri, Wellington, 1994
- Conservation Plan,Gavin McLean (ed.), Conservation Plan for the Stone Store Kerikeri, Wellington, 1995
The Stone Store is part of a cultural site considered to be a high priority for immediate world heritage listing and which has been included on New Zealand's Tentative World Heritage List.
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