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Historic Kerikeri buildings protected

29 September 2004

Historic Kerikeri buildings protected

The Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage, Helen Clark, today announced that the government will fully fund the construction of the Kerikeri Heritage Bypass, designed to protect historic Kemp House and the Stone Store.

“Kemp House and the Stone Store are of exceptional heritage significance to this country, and the wider area remains New Zealand’s single most evocative Maori-Pakeha early contact site,” said Helen Clark.

“Both buildings are at risk of being damaged or destroyed by flooding caused by the piers of the nearby bridge, which act as a dam when the Kerikeri River is in flood.”

“Construction of the $10.8 million Bypass will protect the heritage landscape and realise more fully the heritage as well as tourism potential of the area.”

Chair of Transfund New Zealand, the government’s land transport funding agency, Dr Jan Wright said it was unusual for government to fully fund territorial authority local roading projects.

“It is essential for this road to be built because of the cultural significance of Kemp House and the Stone Store. Construction of this project is enabled by a unique partnership between Transfund providing 75 per cent of the funding and the remaining 25 per cent coming from the government’s Arts, Culture and Heritage funding vote. Maintenance of the road will be the ongoing responsibility of the Far North District Council,” Dr Wright said.

Both Kemp House and the Stone Store date back to the Church Missionary Society’s second Anglican mission to New Zealand.

Kemp House was built in 1821-22 and is the oldest surviving building in New Zealand and is believed to be the oldest timber building in Australasia. The Stone Store is the oldest surviving trading building in the country, built between 1832 and 1836.

The area is the site of Kororipo Pa, the coastal stronghold of Hongi Hika, under whose protection the mission station was established and a number of wahi tapu sites in the area, including the chiefly burial ground of Ngai Tawake.

The project will be managed by Far North District Council, working under a joint governance group comprising representatives from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Transfund and the council.

The bypass comprises a new 1.6 km length of road east of the central business district, joining Waipapa Road north of the Kerikeri River.


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