The Kerikeri Mission Station is home to New Zealand oldest standing European buildings: the Stone Store and Kerikeri Mission House (Kemp House). The Stone Store, New Zealand’s oldest stone building, was built in 1832-36. Designed by Wesleyan missionary John Hobbs and built by an ex-convict stonemason from New South Wales, the Store was meant to house New Zealand mission supplies and large quantities of wheat from the mission farm at Te Waimate. When the wheat failed the building was mainly leased as a kauri gum trading store. It then passed into Kemp family ownership, and from 1929 onwards was used mainly as a general store. Bought by the Trust in 1976, the building has undergone extensive conservation work.
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 is associated with the Church Missionary Society as an an integral part of the organisation's supply network and the Mission Station itself was the second 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.
The building contains artefacts and displays of its history, and true to its origins, still sells a range of heritage-related merchandise relecting its earlier days as a trading post and general store. Many of these items are available for purchase through this website.
Get your Passport to History here at the Stone Store, and go on your own voyage of discovery exploring the interconnections and stories of NZHPT's Northland properties.