Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search


Heritage Auckland Building Centenary Afternoon Tea

Heritage Auckland Building Centenary Afternoon Tea Sunday 12 October

Celebrate Heritage Auckland’s Hobson St building 100th year over an afternoon tea in the historic roof-top Grand Tearoom during the Auckland Heritage Festival. The tea will be presented on Sunday the 12th of October with vintage touches and opportunities to re-live yesteryear. Tickets are $65 per person ($60 senior concession). Ticket includes the afternoon tea with a glass of bubbles or juice, plus a gift. The afternoon includes a short entertaining history of the building by historian, Ian Hunter, and the chance to win a prize for the best historic costume or hat.

For bookings and information call 09 9797438 or email Website

For Auckland Heritage Festival (27 September to October 12) information visit


Often associated with the Farmers, many don’t know the Heritage Auckland’s Hobson Street building was first built as a warehouse for entrepreneur Robert Laidlaw’s mail-order company. Laidlaw established his business ‘Laidlaw Leeds’ in 1909 and was based originally in rented warehouse space.

His business was the fastest growing in New Zealand so in 1912 he bought the Hobson St land and commissioned the building at a cost of £38,000, opening it in winter 1914. In 1918 he was called up to WW1 and sold to the Farmers co-operative trading company, but returned as general manager to spearhead decades of innovation.

He transformed the building in to a retail store in 1920 and the ‘Big Store’ legend began. Following, was the opening of the famous children’s playground and the first free bus service to the store in 1922.

In 1930, a deco façade was installed on the building and the stunning roof-top tearooms created, now the hotel’s Grand Tearoom.

At that time Hector ‘the parrot’ actually a sulphur crested cockatoo (and a female), was also gifted to the store by an old lady unable to care for it any longer. Hector became an icon, yet had quite a temper, snipping at staff given the chance.

Robert Laidlaw’s most enduring legacy was created in 1934 with the Farmers Christmas parade which has been a highlight for generations of Auckland children.

The Farmers Hobson St store closed in 1992 but the story of the building didn’t end there. An ambitious transformation into the Heritage Auckland was completed in July 1998, followed by a contemporary Tower wing in Nelson St in 1999.



© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Mycoplasma Bovis: More Properties Positive

One of the latest infected properties is in the Hastings district, the other three are within a farming enterprise in Winton. The suspect property is near Ashburton. More>>


Manawatū Gorge Alternative: More Work Needed To Choose Route

“We are currently working closely and in partnership with local councils and other stakeholders to make the right long-term decision. It’s vital we have strong support on the new route as it will represent a very significant long-term investment and it will need to serve the region and the country for decades to come.” More>>


RBNZ: Super Fund Chief To Be New Reserve Bank Governor

Adrian Orr has been appointed as Reserve Bank Governor effective from 27 March 2018, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. More>>


ScoopPro: Helping PR Professionals Get More Out Of Scoop has been a fixture of New Zealand’s news and Public Relations infrastructure for over 18 years. However, without the financial assistance of those using Scoop in a professional context in key sectors such as Public Relations and media, Scoop will not be able to continue this service... More>>

Insurance: 2017 Worst Year On Record For Weather-Related Losses

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) announced today that 2017 has been the most expensive year on record for weather-related losses, with a total insured-losses value of more than $242 million. More>>